Mercersburg Academy Dedicates $13.2-Million Student Center
The Mercersburg Academy student body, faculty, staff, school leadership, alumni, and parents, with residents of the borough of Mercersburg, gathered September 20 to dedicate the new $13.2-million Simon Student Center.
Deborah Simon, vice president of Mercersburg’s Board of Regents, contributed the lead gift toward the renovation of the former student center, made in honor of her parents, the late Bess and Melvin Simon of Indianapolis, Ind.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony featured remarks from Simon; Douglas Hale, Mercersburg’s head of school; John Prentiss, chair of the Board of Regents’ Buildings & Grounds Committee; Debbie Rutherford, associate head of school; and Gun Ho Ro, this year’s Student Council president.
The new student center comprises a top-to-bottom renovation of the previous student center, which was originally carved out of the basement level of the Academy’s dining facility, Ford Hall, built in 1965 with generous funding from the Edward E. Ford Foundation. Construction on the new student center began in May 2012 and was completed last month, at which point it went into service almost immediately.
The new Simon Student Center, designed by Centerbrook Architects of Centerbrook, Conn., marks the first time in the school’s 120-year history that Mercersburg students have a central place on campus that was planned and designed with them and only them in mind – and which they can truly embrace as their own. The original student center covered 34,000 square feet; with additions and improvements, the new Simon Student Center is 41,000 square feet.