Menlo School opened the doors to a new Creative Arts and Design Center in Atherton Friday afternoon and held a gala to celebrate.
Bright blue, yellow and white balloons swayed in the breeze, affixed to the rails outside of the new building, while volunteers in the parent-teacher organization passed out commemorative t-shirts that read, “Got Arts?”
The new center is half educational facility, half art gallery.
The 40,000-square-foot facility contains spaces for painting, ceramics, music, drama, journalism, and movie production classes. Natural lighting pours into the building from the floor to ceiling windows, illuminating the student-created art that hangs from the walls. One of the center's crowning achievements are the spaces where musicians will be able to cultivate their sound.
“The building has three vaulted ceiling music rooms designed for superior acoustics with practice rooms and a vocal teaching studio,” said Jill Kasser, Menlo School spokesperson.
The spacious rooms were designed to be sound proof, so students can practice their instruments without disturbing musicians in the room next to them. The center contains a total of 14 teaching spaces, Kasser said, noting that the opening is the culmination of an initiative called "Challenge Menlo: Investing in the Vision.”
The fundraising campaign raised $62,188,452 from in the Menlo Park and Atherton community. Some of the money was used to fund the new Athletic Center that opened two years ago. Many of the people who attended the opening gala were visibly pleased with the new facility.
“The opening of the CADC demonstrates Menlo's passion for all aspects of education and Menlo’s recognition of the importance of the arts,” said Susan Ford Dorsey, chair of Menlo School’s Board of Trustees.
“We are thankful to our many generous donors for making it possible,” she said.
is an independent college preparatory day school for students in grades 6-12, located next door to .
You can see photos of the new space in the photos attached to these words.