Celebrating a capital campaign that brought in $13.4 million, the Boys' Latin School of Maryland has dedicated a new upper school building, 40 years after leaving its downtown address.
The building, comprising Hopkins Hall and Sinclair Hall, was applauded by 600 students in coats and ties and faculty and alumni at the West Lake Avenue campus in North Baltimore Friday.
The principal donors, board President Henry H. Hopkins and Class of 1968 member David D. Smith, addressed the audience, with Smith sharing some of his high school memories.
Doubling of space
The new 48,000-square-foot upper school doubles the space for grades nine to 12. It is smoothly attached to the old white mansion on the former Cooper estate, which was the original building occupied by the school after an urban renewal plan evicted it from its building near where the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall now stands.
The three-tier, $6 million extension has classrooms, math and science labs, a chorus room, music practice room, a theater and a library with computer access to classrooms. Almost all the classrooms look out onto the lawn, which is shaded by two large trees, a birch and an ash.
On a landmark day, the collective memories harked back to the move from the city's heart. The headmaster, Mercer Neale, showed an old clipping from The Sun with the headline, "A Century-Old Mansion Saves a Boys' School from Extinction."
The architectural challenge was to make a horizontal addition that would blend with the look of the old mansion. "We didn't want to keep the scale of this thing from blowing the doors off the other," Neale said.
The result, by Sanders Design, is an attractive white building with a red mansard roof, set off by a sand-colored structure with Greek neoclassical columns. Benjamin Bates was the lead architect.
The addition took about a year and a half to complete, school officials said.
School on a `shoestring'
"I'm glad I lived long enough to see this," said graduate Jack Kerns. "When we first moved out here, the school was on an absolute shoestring," he recalled.
Dyson Ehrhardt, associate headmaster in charge of development, said constructing a bridge across Lake Avenue six years ago was a catalyst for a building boom at the school.
"That got everybody thinking," he said.
The Duncan Lower School was built in 1997, and a $1 million alumni house, which will be named for Julian S. Smith, is close to completion.