HIGHLANDS SCHOOL BREAKS GROUND ON NEW STUDENT LIFE CENTER

Construction on the Centerpiece of Highlands’ 60 More Years to… Campaign has Commenced

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (September 4, 2018) — Exactly five months after launching the public phase of its 60 more years to… campaign Highlands School (Highlands) today broke ground on the Student Life Center, the centerpiece of its planned campus transformation. Thus far, the 60 more years to… campaign has raised $4.2 million of a $5 million fundraising goal. The project, including the new Student Life Center and campus wide upgrades to all existing classrooms will be completed summer 2019.


On Tuesday morning, campaign chairs, donors, board members, school leadership and student council members gathered with representatives from the architectural and construction firms engaged for the campus transformation project to break ground on the Student Life Center and celebrate the marked success of the 60 more years to… campaign thus far.


“Today is momentous for Highlands and for the Birmingham community as we break ground on a project that will inspire generations of future leaders,” said Highlands Board President, John Michael Bodnar. “As an alum and as a parent to current and former Highlands students, I have seen how the generosity of previous supporters of the Highlands Mission has benefitted students. This transformation of the campus will set the school up for the next 60 years of success.”


​The priorities for the campaign include a new Student Life Center that will help meet several of Highlands’ strategic goals. Four new flexible classrooms will allow teachers to adapt and adjust the rooms based on their curricular goals. A new dining hall with a full-service kitchen will provide opportunities to instill healthy nutritional habits in students’ lives, and the layout will create a family-style dining atmosphere that will cultivate student relationships. Highlands’ Health and Wellness curriculum will be bolstered by the addition of a new air-conditioned gymnasium with large, pivoting double doors that will connect indoor and outdoor spaces, and a new outdoor classroom will enable students to take advantage of the beautiful campus while extending programming beyond classroom walls.


“We are excited to be part of the future of Highlands School,” said Jay Pigford, partner at ArchitectureWorks. “The flexibility, connection to the outdoors and focus on collaboration found in the design for the Student Life Center and all of the planned campus renovations are intended to reflect the real world that students will enter after their Highlands education — now and for years to come.”


“Projects like this that positively impact the community in which we work and live are really exciting to be a part of,” said Vice President/Division Manager at Brasfield & Gorrie, Stephen Franklin. “We know the reputation of Highlands School and the outstanding educational opportunities they provide to students. We are honored to be part of the learning process for their students.”


While the new Student Life Center is the highlight of the campaign, the project also will update the entire Highlands campus to better facilitate 21st-century learning. The current art room will be modernized to incorporate various artistic techniques, increase the amount of natural light and provide opportunities to use indoor and outdoor spaces. There will be a new playground installed next to the new Student Life Center, to replace the previous elementary playground. In addition, all 23 classrooms on the existing Highlands campus will be updated with dynamic furniture, equipment and fixtures designed to support optimal student learning.

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