L to R, sitting: Paul Steege, Frank “Flash” Fuller; Standing: Mark Simon, John “Jock” Dix, Peter Clement
 

The Gift of Architecture

Published on March 12th, 2013

At their 45th reunion at the Pomfret School, Mark Simon and a cohort of four fellow architects realized that the five of them represented 10 percent of their 1964 graduating class. The quintet got to mulling over what they might give the school, which is known for its arts programs, for their 50th reunion next year.

They decided to contribute something of themselves: architecture. Clement and Simon previously had designed projects for the school.

“[John] ‘Jock’ Dix came up with the idea that we all – Peter Clement, Frank “Flash” Fuller, Paul Steege, Jock, and I – collaborate on designing something useful for the school that our classmates could fund with us,” Simon recalled. “We decided on a new terrace outside the Main Building dining hall and a smaller terrace up the hill towards the chapel.”

Meeting periodically at one another’s homes and offices -- as far away as Florida and San Francisco – the five alums honed their proposal. The larger semi-circular terrace outside Main will replace a mishmash of macadam walkways and be spacious enough for a gathering of the entire student body of 350 boys and girls, while also feeling enticing for smaller or random social interactions. The space is defined by a sitting wall where students can hang out going to or from meals. The smaller terrace will be similar in design, and suitable for outdoor classes and smaller gatherings of students.

The Pomfret Board of Trustees has given the quintet’s plan its blessing pending class fundraising, and to everyone’s delight the Class of 1964 is now in the homestretch of collecting the $200,000 to pay for construction, which is planned for this summer.

“We expect to enjoy and celebrate the terraces at our 50th in May, 2014” Simon predicted.