New student center going up at Severn School


March 19, 1998|By Joni Guhne | Joni Guhne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CHANGE usually comes to Old Severna Park quietly in the guise of a new family moving in or a new business opening, so we can't help but notice the imposing new structure rising from the staid old grounds of Severn School.

What we're witnessing is the construction of a new, 32,000-square-foot student center that will give the 84-year-old institution a much-needed full-size theater and auditorium.

Until now, the school has made do with the gym or the Teal Academic Center.

The student center is Phase 1 of the Campaign for Severn: Charting the Future, the first capital campaign sponsored by the school in 15 years. Almost $3 million has been raised toward the goal of $6 million for this phase, which is intended to cover doubling the school's endowment, increasing annual support and improvement of the grounds.

In addition to the student center, plans call for more parking space, landscaping and athletic fields. To comply with waterfront critical-area requirements, the dining hall will be torn down and replaced by a new one in the student center.

"We're really excited about it," said Kristyn Stout, Severn's director of publications and public relations. "Ground was broken for the new facility this past October, but with delays for permits, construction didn't begin until 1998."

The center is expected to be ready for students and staff by fall.

The new building will be connected to Teal Center with a colonnaded walkway entering a new 454-seat auditorium on the main level.

Severn's auditorium will have a stage, a control booth and a theater workshop.

The main level will also house a spacious kitchen and dining facilities for students and faculty, and a lecture hall that will seat 96.

The lower level will provide a dark room, music and dance rooms, and rooms for two- and-three-dimensional art.

The window walls in the dining room and art rooms will overlook the Severn River.

Campaign Chairman Peter J. D. Gordon of Annapolis and the trustees hope that Phase 1 will be complete by the end of the year.

Pub Date: 3/19/98

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