BHS To Build State-Of-The-Art Innovation Centre

April 18, 2018 | 12 Comments

At the unveiling of the designs for its new Innovation Centre, BHS announced that it had surpassed its initial $10 million goal for the project and the effort, conducted in less than three years, is the largest in the school’s history.

The funds raised from the School’s Campaign will support the leading edge construction of an Innovation Centre and Arts Wing to house the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Design, and Mathematics programmes at BHS, commonly referred to as STEAM.

BHS Bermuda April 2018 (1)

“Women are underrepresented in boardrooms, in corporate leadership and certainly in the fields of technology, engineering and science. At BHS, we play an important role in ensuring that more of our girls consider careers in STEAM by sparking a sense of wonder and curiosity as early as possible, and then nurturing and challenging students’ interests through our curriculum and inspirational teaching, in a state-of-the-art facility,” says Head of School, Linda Parker.

Local architects Linberg & Simmons, in collaboration with education architects from Gensler in the United States, were tasked to create an inspiring design for the Innovation Centre and have re-imagined beautiful new spaces in the adjacent Butterfield Building to house the Arts Wing. Construction of the new 14,000 square-foot facility is expected to begin in the Fall and will open to students in September, 2020.

BHS Bermuda April 2018 (2)

“Investing in Science, Technology and the Arts, particularly at a girls’ school, really resonated with all of the people with whom we spoke,” says Director of Advancement, Jennifer Burland Adams.

“We know that we are preparing our students for exciting careers that haven’t yet been defined, and that the combination of technical competencies, together with excellent problem-solving, collaboration and communication skills, will be key to their success. This is why a strong STEAM education is so important and why BHS is leading the way in this endeavour in Bermuda.”

The Campaign, spearheaded by Campaign Chair, Pamela Ferreira, and Chair of the Board, Mariette Savoie, along with the Head of School, and Director of Advancement, assisted by more than 30 volunteers, has secured gifts and pledges totaling more than $10.5m.

Gifts range from $20 to a precedent-setting $1.5m and were donated by parents, grandparents, alumni, staff, trustees, companies and friends of the School.

BHS Bermuda April 2018 (3)

Mrs. Savoie thanks the donors “not only for funding a new structure, but also for helping to build opportunity, support innovation and, most importantly, develop tomorrow’s global leaders”.

In addition to the financial support from the BHS families and friends, a number of companies have donated leadership gifts including Renaissance Re, Arch, the XL Foundation [XL Catlin], Aon, Deloitte, CatCo, Markel, Argus and BF&M. Additionally, Butterfield Bank has generously donated the land for the Innovation Centre.

The Innovation Centre will include five new Science laboratories, two Computer Science and Robotics labs, a MakerSpace, a Learning Commons and Library, and a Leadership Centre for Girls.

Renovations include a Blackbox Theatre and an Arts Wing connected to the Innovation Centre that will house our upgraded Music and Visual Art departments, with an outdoor “Idea Hub” linking the Visual Arts with the MakerSpace.

Renderings of the planned design are above, and the public is invited to view the design for the Innovation Center at www.leadingtheway.bm

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  1. The Original Truth™ says:

    This is great for this private school but what is our education minister doing for public schools? I hope the budget is going to these types of improvements and finding better public school teachers and not to continuing overpaying the worthless ones that are currently employed. These public school teachers without the proper education themselves are setting students back while private school students get ahead. All public school teachers should have to maintain a standard grade average for their classes or be let go. There’s children in the west indies who get a better public school education.

    • wahoo says:

      B.U.T. will not let you fire a teacher just because they cannot teach. This is a good time to bring up privatization though, do we (taxpayers) not pay more than $30K per child per annum to attend government schools? A private school costs about $20K!

      • Steam not the be all and end all says:

        Hey Wahoo,
        Once you do away with redundant work like tons of lesson plans that only ever see the inside of a file folder after they are written for hours at the end of a long day (at home)- maybe the teachers can put most of their time and energy into teaching!

        How many of the non-teachers who will post here actually take work home every day during the school year, and never have time for their own family except for school vacation time?

        • Anbu says:

          Uh. Lots of us actually. And we do it during school vacation time as well. We didnt force them to be teachers.

    • gg5 says:

      why is it the teachers fault? should they not be managed better? can they discipline the children?

      • Steam not the be all and end all says:

        Hey gg5,
        I have a question- when did disciplining children become the sole responsibility of a teacher at a school?

        It starts at home.

        You can tell the kids of parents who rightly discipline at home, those who are ridiculously permissive, those who care more about their nails and hair than whether or not their kids are cared for and disciplined, and the parents who expect teachers to do their job of parenting.

    • Steam not the be all and end all says:

      Watch it there original truth, you are making some sweeping claims that the teachers are sub-standard in the public system.
      What we have to keep in mind is that any employee, if treated poorly will not necessarily excel in their position especially if they are giving their all but not being recognized for it.
      As a Bermudian in the private system, it is sad that QUALIFIED Bermudians are viewed with contempt by their expat colleagues and Bermudians alike who are poisoned with the idea that Bermuda can’t compete, and Bermudians will never measure up- to anyone, especially British trained educators.

      Keep in mind that STEAM is a great buzz word right now, soon to be eclipsed in about 5-10 years by another equally hyped up educational innovation which is just the same thing repackaged over and over- there is nothing new under the sun.

      • Politricks says:

        Unfortunately the persistent and consistent below average test scores have resulted in that view held by many.

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        STEAM is NOT a “buzz word”, it’s not even a word, it’s an acronym that stands for the core subjects that have been taught for years before STEAM came along. What STEAM does is bring them all together in a way that is seamless. With STEAM little Johnny can now get a lesson from the math teacher that ties in with the lessons from all the other teachers and it makes far more sense to him to work out atomic mass he learnt in science than adding irrelevant numbers pulled out of the air. It’s how the real world works and it’s not going away. Geniuses like Elon Musk have taken their children out of regular classes for STEAM because they know the potential of it.

        Not all are qualified in the public system. I know of teachers who only have a high school diploma and ones who were let go from a private school because they were not up to par to then be hired in the public system.

        Educational competitions in Bermuda like Math Olympics and others are dominated by private school winners while most public school students come in at a lower place because their teachers are years behind in lessons.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      *There’s children in the west indies who get a better public school education.*

      And other places far less developed than us.

      They don’t take their free education for granted and the schools aren’t viewed as a babysitting service.

  2. Hello says:

    Thank you for crediting the local architect’s participation

  3. Vote for Me says:

    All
    During the recent budget debate, it was revealed that the public school system spends millions on student support services that are not offered in private schools. Such services include behavioural and learning challenges, autism, reading and hearing impairments etc.

    It is therefore incorrect to directly compare the cost of private schools to the costs of public schools – ask any parent with a student that requires support services.

    When we talk about ‘qualified teachers’, ask anyone who has taught in both systems. The level of qualifications are comparable.

    One big difference is however the behaviour of the children. The public system has an almost guaranteed attendance – very difficult to expel a child. Contrast with the private schools. Misbehave or perform poorly and you are expelled since they know the public system will have to accept the child.

    My point… lets compare apples with apples. Each system produces excellent students, provided that we have actively engaged parents!!

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