Westerly School to dedicate new arts village

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westerly-school-arts-villageWesterly School will dedicate its new Raymond F. Bizjack Arts Village on Thursday, October 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., just one year after the groundbreaking for this new $2 million facility. The community is invited to attend.

Named in honor of founding headmaster, Raymond F. Bizjack, the Arts Village enhances Westerly’s educational philosophy which is to encourage creative and independent thinking, to cultivate an appreciation for the arts, and to combine academics with experiential, hands-on learning.

The Bizjack Arts Village encompasses three major areas. There is the Senn Family Music Studio which includes sound-proof practice studios and storage and office space.

The music studio supports both smaller and larger bands and chorus classes. The studio wall slides open to become the stage area of the Rampino Family Amphitheatre for large all school events.

The Pinckert Family Arts Studio more than doubles the previous area devoted to the visual arts. This new facility includes dedicated areas for drying art works and storing materials. The studio space itself opens onto dual outdoor areas. One side of the studio opens onto an outdoor workroom where pottery wheels, large format canvases, and other projects can be staged.

On the other side, the arts studio opens onto the Seaver Family Arts Plaza that joins the music studio. This area is designed to be a place for creating environmental art using lighting, fabric, hangings, and yet unimagined media by the students.

Located on 5.5 acres on East 29th Street in Long Beach, Westerly is fortunate to have room for expansion. Founded in 1991 using temporary school buildings, Westerly purchased the property in 1997. The plan has always been to build a permanent campus. The Arts Village is the first step in that plan, to be followed in the future by a multi-purpose pavilion.

The project was funded by five-year pledges from Westerly School supporters with a construction loan provided by LDC, a Los Angeles-based not-for-profit company that focuses on financing for other not-for-profit institutions and underserved constituencies.

The facility was conceptualized in a revised master plan adopted by Westerly’s Board of Trustees in 2006. The final architectural design was by Will Longyear of Killefer Flammang Architects, a firm experienced in school facilities. The project was built in a nine month time frame by Fullmer Construction.

Those interested in attending the groundbreaking ceremony are welcome, and should RSVP to Christine Downie, Director of Advancement, at 562-981-3151 or cdownie@westerlyschool.org.

Westerly School is an independent, non-profit, non-sectarian school whose mission is to develop each child’s full potential intellectually, emotionally, morally and physically.

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