A new building for young pupils

Celebration: Glenelg Country School marks the dedication of its Primary School.

March 20, 2002|By Donna W. Payne | Donna W. Payne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Just before the holidays at the close of last year, the pre-kindergarten through first-graders at Glenelg Country School made a short trip. They walked from their school building to another nearby - but it was a journey of high excitement and expectation.

On that day, the children at the private school in Glenelg had their first look inside their new building. The children and staff moved into the state-of-the-art facility in early January, but its official dedication took place March 13

Headmaster Ryland O. Chapman III recalled that first visit. "It was so exciting to see the children come in there," he said. "We had the little ones take their personal possessions from their cubbies and walk across from the old building to the new building ... and go into their new rooms and put their personal belongings in their new cubbies. ... That was just a delightful day."

The children's delight was mirrored last week by friends of Glenelg Country School and visiting dignitaries who attended the dedication celebration and toured the facility.

"I think it's really splendid. ... The children love it," said Miles Davis, grandfather of James and Victoria Davis of Clarksville, who are in kindergarten and first grade there.

"This building is primarily due to the generosity of Kingdon and Mary Gould," said Chapman, "with some additional dollars provided by the board of trustees ... for equipment and furniture and furnishings."

Kingdon Gould Jr. is a businessman, attorney and former ambassador to Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The Goulds have lived in North Laurel for more than 40 years, have been active in the community and contributed to county growth and development.

The Goulds and three other families founded Glenelg Country School in 1954. Kingdon Gould has been on the board of trustees for 48 years. Their nine children and some of their grandchildren have attended the school.

"I often tell people that Kingdon and Mary had 10 children," Chapman said. "Nine are human and one is our school."

The Goulds were present at the opening ceremonies along with Frances W. Mason of Ellicott City, also a founder, with her husband, John T. Mason Jr.

County Executive James N. Robey, County Council member C. Vernon Gray and Howard County Community College President Mary Ellen Duncan represented the county.

John S. Toll, president of Washington College in Chestertown and chancellor emeritus of the University of Maryland System, gave the keynote address. Toll praised Glenelg as a leader in education and a model for innovation. He said he was "tremendously impressed" with the new building.

The $4 million, 24,000- square-foot structure provides a separate building for the 150 children in primary school. Glenelg's 87-acre campus of rolling meadow and woodland supports independent facilities and staff for another three divisions of 175 to 180 students each - a lower school for grades 2 to 5, a middle school and a high school.

At the new primary school's open house, guests explored the building or took tours with student guides.

The nine large classrooms are equipped with computers, and each has a bathroom with child-size toilets and sinks. There is an art and science room, a music room, library, kitchen and smaller resource rooms.

At the ceremony, Kingdon Gould stood before the large windows of the multipurpose room and addressed the crowd. He pointed to the lawn outside where the high school graduation ceremonies are held each year.

"So in this building, we have a beginning of the educational lives of these young people," said Gould, who dedicated the facility to the memory of his granddaughter, Lucia Lancaster. "Twelve years from now, they will again commence and it will be a cycle."

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