The reimagination of the Rogers Building has been a multi-year process with an incredible ending. As students wrapped up their studies before the Winter Break, the doors of the Phase III spaces were opened to rave reviews and excitement, completing Brewster’s largest capital project to date.
Students have been enjoying the modern design of Phases I and II of the Grayson Student Center at Rogers for more than a year, with its expansive meeting rooms, Coviello Dance Studio, Faith Theater, arts classrooms, dark room, music practice rooms, Palmer Cafe, and gallery space. Now, in Phase III, they are beginning to learn and create in a new robotics lab and ceramic studio. And when the weather is a bit warmer perhaps, the entire community will take advantage of the new, expansive outdoor terrace. Phase III’s one-story lake-facing addition is the only structure outside the original Rogers footprint, and is a game changer on top of the building’s three already-stunning and hard-working levels.
The robotics lab is named in memory of Tyler Balint ’21, a quiet young man who loved Brewster, and saw that love returned. Tyler was an integral member of one of Brewster’s first robotics teams, and his passion for the technical aspects of robotics was only matched by his skill in theater production and his insistence on wearing shorts no matter the season! The Tyler Balint ’21 Robotics Lab is bright and airy, with flexible work tables and ample storage space for the tools and materials needed to compete in robotics challenges. A large 3-D printer, which allows students to print multiple parts simultaneously, is just one of the state-of-the-art features of the lab. This important new space will be officially dedicated in mid-April 2024, during Spring Long Weekend events.
The ceramics studio is a bright, sun-filled space with lake and mountain views to inspire creativity. Featuring new wedging tables, throwing wheels, two new kilns, sinks, storage, and even a clay recycler, the studio is equipped with everything student artists need for their projects. With gallery space just around the corner to display finished pieces, the entire community is able to view what our students’ hands create. “The futures of multitudes of Bobcats have been changed for the better,” says arts faculty member and alum Alicia Childers of all the creative spaces in Phase III. “They will have opportunities to throw clay and explore new mediums! Thank you to all those who made this possible.”
There is also a new terrace that runs along the entire back of the Rogers. It will surely rival the Pinckney Boathouse as everyone’s favorite spot to view sunsets over Wolfeboro Bay, and will definitely be the hot spot to view games happening on Brown Field. To honor longtime Brewster employee and Bobcat Nation superfan Peter Mann, a special area on the Terrace has been named in his honor. The Peter Mann Gathering Spot includes seating, planters, and a firepit! An official dedication will take place during Reunion Weekend in June, so Mr. Mann’s many alumni fans can attend and honor their friend and mentor.
On top of all this, new restrooms below the terrace will be accessible to spectators during games and visitors during campus-wide events, a welcome addition.
In a recent message to the donors who made the Reimagine Rogers project a reality, Director of Advancement John Northrop said, “Thank you from the entire Brewster community for supporting the Academy through your gifts to the largest capital project in Brewster’s 203-year history. As a project donor, you are one of 135 visionary contributors to this new campus jewel, which continues to set us apart from our peer schools in New Hampshire and greater New England,” adding that generations will know and appreciate our donors’ foresight in providing this incredible space.
The vision for a reimagined Rogers building emerged around 2010, and by 2015 the project was one of the four priorities incorporated into Brewster’s “Our Watershed Moment” campaign. The reimagination of the Rogers was made possible thanks to a lead commitment from Peter and Josephine Grayson and their family (Bradley ’14), through the Fund for Individual Potential—the largest outright gift in the history of Brewster.
See all the completed Reimagine Rogers spaces and feature in a special review reel here.