Construction Begins on BBA's New Founders Hall

MANCHESTER, VERMONT — Just hours before celebrating Burr and Burton Academy’s 187th Commencement on Friday, June 5, the school broke ground on Founders Hall, a visionary new academic building, funded by the late Barry and Wendy Rowland, that will transform BBA’s historic campus and put millions of dollars into the local economy.

“Even though we are here for the groundbreaking for a new building, we know that school is not about the buildings, but the people,” said headmaster Mark Tashjian. “We are building Founders Hall because it will be used by the people of the BBA community. It will enhance our ability to teach and it will enhance our students’ ability to learn. It will enable us to build on our best ideas, and it will inspire learning for generations to come.” 
Lead architect, Kyle Murphy, class of 2007, thanked the Burr and Burton community for its support. “I am grateful to our team of architects, engineers, and construction managers for helping bring the project to fruition, the administration and faculty for their commitment to the project vision, and the community for embracing a new work of architecture for the campus.”
With Hunter Excavating equipment in the background, Mike Smith, Chief Operating Officer of DEW Construction, noted, “The construction of Founders Hall will not only enhance teaching and learning at Burr and Burton, but it will have a positive impact on Manchester and the state of Vermont’s economy—putting tradespeople back to work and dollars back into the local community.”
Barry and Wendy Rowland’s daughter, Heidi Lynn, stood by a painting of her parents and spoke of their faith in education and their joy in helping to provide opportunities to all of Burr and Burton’s students. “I speak for our entire family when I say that we are honored to be able to follow through with my parents’ wishes and to be involved in this project.”
Seth Bongartz, chair of the Board of Trustees and class of 1972, heralded Founders Hall as the latest example of private generosity fueling Burr and Burton’s public mission. “Beginning with Joseph Burr’s bequest which allowed for construction of the Seminary Building, all construction at Burr and Burton has been done through philanthropy,” he noted. “Barry and Wendy Rowland made it their mission—their passion—to provide opportunity to the young people of Vermont. And through their generosity, Kyle Murphy’s vision, Mark Tashjian’s leadership and our team of ZGF, DEW and many others, this new, inspiring building brilliantly connects the future to the past and helps lead us into Burr and Burton’s third century.”
For more information, contact Kate Leach, Director of Advancement at