During the 2021 summer, the Pace Lower School playground finally finished renovation. With new slides, circle swings and more space, the playground is bigger and better than ever.
Second-grader Eduardo De Cock says, “I like this playground a little bit more.” De Cock, along with the other Pace Lower Schoolers are extremely happy about the new playground. “[The Lower Schoolers] love it,” said Interim Head of Lower School Dorothy Hutcheson. “When they saw on the first day of school that the playground was open, there was such excitement about who was going to get to go on the playground first.” Second graders Avni Doshi and De Cock both claim that the circle swings are their favorite part of the new playground with the slides coming in a close second.
Even with all the new changes, the playground is still not finished. Pace is constructing a brand-new playground right next to the current one for older students to have room to play as well. It will have more slides, swings, climbers, castles and even more space.
This new playground is part of phase one of Pace Academy’s ambitious “Accelerate Pace” campaign that started in Jan. 2020. Phase one of the Accelerate Pace Campaign requires $35 million in order to build the new Kam Memar Lower School and renovate some parts of the current lower school. The Pace Office of Advancement has already raised more than $24 million.
The Kam Memar Lower School will be a three-story, 36,500 square foot building. It is nearly three times the size of the current Lower School, and it will include a new academic resource center, an indoor gym connected to the playgrounds, science/STEAM classrooms and music classrooms.
While the Lower School is still undergoing construction, the lower schoolers are extremely excited about the new classrooms and interior. “I think it will be cool to have a new music room,” said Doshi. Renovations to the current lower school have already been made including creating a new cafeteria and updating the libraries.
Even though the Kam Memar Lower school is close to finishing construction, the current lower school will still be in use. “Once the Lower School finishes construction in Sept., the two buildings will be connected. It won’t be the old and new lower school, it will just be the Kam Memar Lower School,” said Hutcheson.
Hutcheson thinks that the new lower school will be a game-changer, “Our Lower School Science Teacher … has to go into each classroom with a cart. But come Sept. … she’s going to have a whole glorious space that will be just dedicated to Lower School Science.” Lower School Science Teacher Jane Choi also believes that the new Lower School will be a great addition. “If you have a space that is completely set up, something about having the ambience of the materials … [will] help them get into the mindset of being a scientist,” said Choi.