- ANONYMOUS DONOR PROVIDES FUNDS TO COMPLETE RENOVATION
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- Making a Gift of Stock
- Founders Campaign Donors
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A gift from an anonymous donor will complete a twenty-year-long renovation and rehabilitation of historic Founders Hall on the Maine Central Institute (MCI) campus. This gift, which is the largest in MCI’s history, has been made to complete all the restoration work already begun on Founders Hall this past spring.
“Founders Hall has a special place in the hearts of the entire MCI community, and in the hearts of anyone who has stepped foot on MCI's campus,” according to the anonymous donor.
The Trustees of MCI had originally planned to raise the funds necessary for a phased renovation and rehabilitation construction plan for the Founders Hall over several years, working during the non-academic portion of each MCI school year. However, returning students and faculty to the building for only for a short time, before again asking them to vacate the building for the next phase of construction was not the best answer to the challenge. A mindful MCI donor realized that completion of the building renovation and rehabilitation in its entirety without pausing the construction process would be the least disruptive and most cost-effective strategy for the school.
The modernization of Founders Hall began earlier in 2021, and these efforts involve upgrading many requirements within the historic building to comply with current building codes and universal access. Now aspects of the renovation and rehabilitation of the building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will be completed during this construction season with students and faculty scheduled to return to the classroom building in the Fall of 2022.
“There is a lot of history in this building, and I think you will be surprised and excited by the level of work that is going on in Founders Hall. I look forward to inviting you back to campus for a ribbon-cutting and tour, in the Fall of 2022 as I am certain you will be proud of the final product,” says Tim Archibald, MCI ’84, Trustee and Architect for Founders.
Specifically, this gift together with previous fundraising will allow for the complete renovation and rehabilitation of Founders Hall which will include:
- Rebuilding the north and south stair halls with new steel stairs, new entrances, new interior doors and fire-rated corridors allowing egress;
- Restoration of Powers Hall and installing Stage AV & Lighting;
- Reconfiguration of all offices and public spaces in the first floor Core;
- Installation of an elevator linking all floors including basement;
- New ADA accessible entrance to the building;
- Upgraded life safety features;
- New air-conditioning in the Core and Powers Hall as well as improved ventilation in all classrooms;
- New and accessible restroom facilities;
- New energy-efficient lighting
This work will mean the exterior metal “fire escapes” will no longer be required, and the building will be accessible from the basement to all classroom floors including a new building entrance ramp. Improvements will include upgrades to electrical service and fiber optic telecommunications to accommodate future needs.
“Our Trustees and our donor believe strongly that it is important to maintain the integrity of the building, improve the current and future use of the space, all while preserving Founders Hall memories for everyone who returns to campus,” according to Norbert Young, MCI ’66 and Board President (Powers Hall shown here will be restored).
I am Norbert Young, MCI Class of 1966 and current president of our Board of Trustees
I am standing in front of Founders Hall which since its cornerstone was laid in 1868, has been a fixture on our Campus – welcoming students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends into its halls.
Over the past decade many exterior improvements have been made to Founders respecting the historical design and materials of the original.
This has included:
a new roof with slate replica material;
a completely rebuilt cupola;
and the replacement of every single window with new windows matching the historical profiles of the original yet with high quality energy efficient insulating glazing.
The large ornamental windows on the east and west sides faces have been carefully restored.
Exterior spotlights were installed allowing our Cupola to be visible throughout the town of Pittsfield and for those traveling on I-95!
Now interior renovations are underway as a result of funds from the Founders Campaign. These renovations involve upgrading many requirements within the historic building to comply with current building code and universal access.
Specifically, the north and south stair halls are being completely rebuilt with new steel stairs, new entrances, new interior doors opening into all the classrooms and offices, all within fire-rated corridors allowing egress in an emergency. This work alone will mean the exterior metal “fire escapes” will no longer be required!
Another important part of the work includes accessibility upgrades with the addition of an elevator from the basement to the attic and a new building entrance ramp.
The fire alarm systems are being upgraded as well as the fire sprinkler system.
Mechanical improvements include electric service upgrades to accommodate the elevator and building appropriately for the future.
Our team for this work is all MCI related:
Chair of MCI Buildings and Grounds Committee – Gregg Newhouse MCI ‘78
Architect – Tim Archibald of Midwest Architecture Studio - MCI 1984
Builder – Cianbro – lead by their Chairman Peter Vigue – MCI 1965 and CEO Andi Vigue MCI 1989
Enjoy the following comments from Gregg and Tim as well as spectacular aerial photos of our campus.
Over 300 alumni, trustees, faculty, staff and friends of the School have given to MCI's historic Founders Campaign! Please view our full list of Founders Campaign Donors.
Why I Give
"This campaign is truly comprehensive and diverse - like MCI. Not only does it touch the students of today and the future in the arts and athletics, it inspires memories of the past for alums who remember fondly their time spent in Founders Hall by maintaining this historic building for future generations." ~Michael Hodgins ’86
"MCI gave me so many opportunities as a student. I am proud to continue my family’s long tradition of giving back to the School that has served our community so well for 150 years. As an alumna and new faculty member, it is my pleasure to support the Founders Campaign!"
Erin Fitts ’02
"MCI opened doors for me, a 'Townie,' athletically, socially, academically. MCI stimulated my curiosity. It gave me the analytical tools I needed to understand 'things' and to make stuff happen. MCI inspired me to explore my inner and outer worlds. It taught me that hard work, personal responsibility, a positive attitude and EDUCATION would deliver 'success' regardless of how I chose to define “success.” MCI “did good” by me and for that reason I give to the Founders Campaign so that future generations can experience the same great MCI education I was blessed to enjoy."
Gregg Patterson ‘69
"I don’t feel like I am just investing in an institution but in the ideas and people I believe in. People who truly care about a town I grew up in and the youth from around the world that come to MCI to gain an amazing education and to experience what we did growing up. After living in various parts of the country it only makes me appreciate more the foundation I got from MCI and the wonderful community called Pittsfield. It is a tradition that I want to see kept alive for others to benefit from."
Peg Olson ‘84
"As a Pittsfield native and alumnus, I appreciate the value and perspective that an MCI education provides for its student body. We felt it was very important to support the Founders Campaign to help ensure that MCI can continue to thrive as the centerpiece of community pride and activity and to offer its unique international and multicultural learning environment to local students."
Robert Cianchette ‘78 and Hillary Ginsberg
"During my first visit to MCI and Pittsfield, my husband’s alma mater and home town, I could see how special the School was, in every way. I attended a traditional suburban Connecticut public high school and was totally unfamiliar with the idea of a Town Academy having both day and residential students from many different places in a small-town environment. I was immediately captured by the unique role that MCI plays in the entire community, the dedication of its faculty and staff, the devotion of its alumni, and the spirit of its students. It’s an honor to do everything I can for a place that provides extraordinary opportunities to so many people in so many ways."
Elaine Patterson, Trustee
"I supported the Founders Campaign because our students, faculty, and community will benefit from the planned improvements. Also, as a member of the Class of 1984 I feel we all have a responsibility to give back to the School that truly has shaped our lives."
Eric Thompson ‘84
Campaign Executive Committee: Christopher M. McDonald, Head of School; Wayne Lobley, Dean of Advancement; Norbert Young Jr. ’66; Tom Bertrand, Assistant Director of Advancement; Robert Cianchette '78.
Marketing Committee: Peter Fendler ‘80; Christopher M. McDonald; Elaine Patterson; Eric Thompson ’84; Dan Tilton; Norbert Young Jr. ‘66.
Solicitor Team: Timothy Archibald ‘84; Robert Cianchette ‘78; Doug Cummings; Peter Fendler ‘80; Ross Fitts ‘78; Christopher M. McDonald; Laurie Fitts Loosigian ’71; David MacGown ‘86; Peg Olson ‘84; Eric Thompson '84; Norbert Young, Jr. ‘66.
Campaign Architect: Timothy Archibald ’84, AIA, NCARB, Midwest Architecture Studio
Campaign Manager: Wayne Lobley
STRENGTHEN THE NEXT 150 YEARS