Grasshopper a symbol of school’s principles
VAIL – Vail Mountain School students, teachers, parents and board members recently celebrated completion of the private school’s new campus in East Vail.
An icon that sat atop the old building, a bronze grasshopper, was placed onto of the highest point of the school “symbolizing the completion of the school, and making it ours,” Headmaster Peter Abuisi said in his address to the audience of more than 300 people. The ceremony came at the end of seven years of planning and construction. The project was inspired by recommendations made by the Association of Colorado Independent Schools during Vail Mountain School’s accreditation review in 1998. School leaders the best way to address new demands in education and the school’s expanding programming was to build a new, larger building, Abuisi said.
In his speech at the ceremony, David Ferguson, president of the school’s board and its Capital Campaign chairman, said the current senior class was in fifth grade, the current eight graders were in kindergarten and the current kindergartners had not yet been born when the planning for this building began. Ferguson said the homework he was assigning students was to “go home and give parents a big hug, and a big thank you for making this building possible.””Mr. Abuisi’s view of education is in every nook and cranny of this building,” Ferguson added. “No one touched the blue prints more than he did. Everything you see in this school he is directly responsible for.” The new campus has a synthetic grass soccer field, faculty housing, an auditorium, fine arts center with a gallery, science labs, a student commons where students in different grades work together as well as a new dining room, kindergarten room and gymnasium.The grasshopper placed on a school tower to conclude the ceremony came from Boston, where it was fashioned after the famous grasshopper weather vane atop the cupola of Faneuil Hall.
“(We) put it on our building because what it symbolizes are two things we hope are part of lives of everybody here,” Abuisi said. “One is nobility, and I think our learning and caring for other people and caring for each other is noble. And the other is that it is a symbol of prosperity and we know our goal together is to send people on so that our country, our world can prosper.”