Compiled by Nathan Sonnenfeld
By Jenn Neuner, via an MPH news release
The reshaping of the Manlius Pebble Hill School campus is officially underway. After a groundbreaking earlier this year, an immense steel frame has been constructed and is partially visible from Jamesville Road. The structure will soon transform into the School’s new multi-million dollar Athletics and Visual Arts facilities.
Head of School Jim Dunaway gathered with school leaders, project architects, and engineers last month to ceremonially turn over the first shovel of dirt. “We are excited as we look forward to our new visual arts and athletics facilities and grateful for the generosity that makes them possible,” said Dunaway. “Our student-artists and student-athletes will flourish in these new facilities for years to come.”
The lead donor on the project is MPH board president John Mezzalingua ’85, owner and CEO of JMA Wireless, which designs and manufactures products for the wireless industry. Mezzalingua has contributed $7 million to the current construction, part of the larger MPH Rising initiative, which also includes enhancing the School’s educational programs, strengthening financial aid, and increasing faculty compensation.
Over the past five years, Mezzalingua has given more than $11 million to further various building projects on campus, support the School’s annual fund, and ensure adequate compensation for faculty members. His generosity and steadfast belief in the MPH educational mission has inspired scores of other parents, alumni, past parents, and friends to donate generously as well.
“Our involvement and support of Manlius Pebble Hill School is an ongoing joy and privilege for my entire family,” said Mezzalingua. “What an honor to play a role in the School’s evolution and witness the impact it has had on young lives here in Syracuse.”
LeChase Construction Services, LLC and Holmes King Kallquist & Associates, Architects LLP are partnering with MPH to complete the work. The construction is sequestered to one side of the campus and will not interfere with the many summer programs the School offers each year. The construction will be completed by the time students report for the first day of the 2017-18 school year in September.
By Amy Critz
An estimated 25 concrete trucks made laps to campus for nearly five hours, with 15 – 20 masons working nearly non-stop. Yesterday, the footers were poured in the old gym. We had a small ceremony before the truck arrived to bury the MPH Rising “Wishes” written by students and adults last year when the plans for the new gym were announced. A dozen or so students participated – everyone read a wish, they were put in Baggies with the other 400 wishes and sealed into the concrete.
We have one set of subcontractors working in the old gym to erect steel that will support the construction of the second floor offices. The first floor will soon transform into a gallery, two art classrooms, kiln room and a classroom dedicated to digital arts. Outside, the bricklayers have finished their work on the new gym walls. Next week, framers are scheduled to begin their work in the art rooms.