A Community Effort

In just a few months, Marksmen will begin learning in the Winn Science Center. Boys will study the universe in the planetarium, hear from industry-leading speakers in the science lecture hall, and team up together on numerous projects. From the maker space to the Lower School science classroom, this new facility is designed to foster collaboration.
In the sciences, and all across campus, Marksmen learn the value of collaboration. Every member of a team, whether it be on the playing field or in the laboratory, is expected to do their part to move the group forward. The team that led the Science Center Project is no different.

“We have been incredibly fortunate to have an outstanding team leading the Science Center project,” said David W. Dini, Eugene McDermott Headmaster. “From the beginning of our planning more than five years ago, Trustees, faculty, and our professional staff have joined forces with an exceptional team of architects, planners, contractors, and other service providers to ensure that the new Winn Science Center and renovated McDermott-Green Science Building not only meet but exceed our aspirations for the future.”

The St. Mark’s community is filled with experts and leaders in industries from construction and engineering to finance and project management. These individuals have proved invaluable during the multi-year Science Center Project, giving their resources and energy to address the thousands of decisions and details that went into this endeavor. It is nearly impossible to place a value on the untold hours invested by community volunteers.

In 2014, as momentum began building for a new science facility, the Board of Trustees formed the Architecture and Construction Committee. Led by Trustees Jon Mosle ’79 and David Campbell ’86, this group selected and then partnered with Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Hera Labs, The Beck Group, and other companies to design the Winn Science Center and plan for its construction.
    • Members of the Development Committee of the Board of Trustees tour the site.

“It has been a true team effort, inspired by our shared commitment to ensuring that the new Science Center is truly distinctive and lives up to the legacy of the building that it replaces,” said David Campbell. “The Science Center is critical to the School’s commitment to a high standard of excellence and, when the opportunity arose to help with this project, the community rallied immediately.”

Early in the process, Trustee Jeff Hillier ’76 lent his vast experience as a tax attorney to help manage the finances of the multimillion-dollar project. For Jeff, investing so much time and energy in St. Mark’s was an easy decision. “It's just a delight to work with the Board and the Administration. The quality of the people, the commitment to the organization, the leadership and management of both the Board and the School – it's simply fun and rewarding to be with these people and to work toward this cause.”

As the Science Center has transitioned from planning to construction, volunteers continue to play a major role in leading the Project. St. Mark’s Trustee and parent Steve Rogers had been a key supporter, drawing on his own vast experience as president of a commercial real estate investment firm.

“The Winn Science Center is an extension of the vision set by the McDermotts and Greens 70 years ago,” Steve said. “Thanks to the generosity of the Winn family and many others, we will continue to have incredible educational outcomes for the next 70 years. It’s not just a transformative building for St. Mark’s—it’s a transformative building for the City of Dallas and the State of Texas.”
    • Steve Rogers (center) attends a contractor's meeting in the Beck office trailers on campus.

With the new building steadily approaching completion, Steve has been a constant presence on the construction site, attending dozens of the weekly contractor meetings and reporting regular updates to the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee.

“Steve has been absolutely integral to our overall progress,” said Suzanne Townsend, St. Mark’s Director of Finance and Administration. “A large part of this project’s successful planning and construction is the direct result of the time, thought, and talent that our Trustee volunteers like Steve have devoted.”

As crews put the finishing touches on the Winn Science Center’s exterior facade, one marvels at every decision required in this project. Across the community, hundreds of individuals have invested thousands of hours into every decision, draft, and blueprint. And yet, there is an unmistakable sense of gratitude among those who gave their time and energy.

Melinda Johnson has been an ardent supporter of the Science Center Project since the very beginning. The mother of Barrett ’06 and Davis ’10, past President of the Parents’ Association, and member of the Board of Trustees, she has invested incalculable time in the St. Mark’s community. Serving on the A&C Committee called for another major investment, and Melinda, like many volunteers, didn’t hesitate.
“Jim and I are so pleased to have been involved at a time when today’s greatest St. Mark’s minds are building a wonderful Science Center to teach and inspire future Marksmen,” Melinda said. “It’s been truly inspiring to watch so many community members contribute their time and talent to this monumental project, all for the benefit of our boys.”
In a few months, the Winn Science Center will open its doors and begin igniting the curiosity of students. To those who drive down Preston Road, the Science Center's brick façade and copper dome will be a testament to St. Mark's dedication to providing a world-class education. To the members of the School community and the generations of Marksmen who will learn and grow within its walls, the Winn Science Center and the renovated McDermott-Green Science Building will stand as a testament to the legacy of selfless supporters of St. Mark’s.
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