Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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The Harley School Breaks Ground on Chesonis Commons

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Rochester: The Harley School Breaks Ground on Chesonis Commons
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The Harley School broke ground on a new learning center at the school leaders say is like no other space in the country for students in grades K-12.

Chesonis Commons will house the Center for Civic Engagement that teaches students about civic leadership, and the Center for Mindfulness and Empathy Education that supports emotional literacy. But a main focus of the new space will be its Science Center that students of all grades will be able to use.

"We're offering three brand new centers that will be housed in the commons, including a project space in the basement. The project space will be dedicated to design thinking," said Valerie Myntti, Interim Head of School. "Kids will be as limited as their imaginations limit them."

The building is named for Arunas Chesonis who gave $1 million for the $3 million project.

"The previous headmaster Tim Cottrell and I had always talked about sustainability and the work we had done in town and in other universities. He came up with an idea to blend innovation of science and technology for sustainability with the care and culture Harley represents," said Chesonis. "Our world is going to be a different place 100 years from now and the sooner that kids and parents learn about that and can teach that not only in their own schools but with their colleagues in the city and the rest of the country, I think it's going to give us a head start."

The 14,000-square-foot building will also be what's called a "living building" that will generate its own energy, heat and cool and will be operated by the students themselves.

Construction has started and they expect to be finished by next Fall.

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