Seeing the new STREAM Building before students come pouring in for the first time in September is a bit like previewing an opera set before opening night; vibrant spaces and surfaces sit ready to be filled with creative discussions, performance and experimentation.
Specimen freezers wait for samples, a milling machine and laser cutter in the basement Robotics Lab quietly anticipate future student projects, and collaborative commons areas are poised to house moments of inspiration, personal connection and even the frustrations that come before a learning breakthrough.
But first, SAAS alums did some housewarming for the new building at Friday’s All Alumni Reunion, which featured STREAM tours, SAAS community chefs, artists and brewers and an opportunity to leave some words of advice on the commons message board to inspire students in the Fall.
“It’s really exciting the opportunities students will have to not just learn but tackle some really important problems that are facing the world,” said Christine Primomo ’06. “The things that kids can do here under the direction of some pretty incredible and experienced teachers—I’m thinking ‘Google Science Fair, watch out.’”
Primomo, who is a 7th grade science teacher at Seattle Girls School, joined fellow alums to try SAAS-inspired beers by Llamas Brewing (Sean Roberts ’07 and Luke Armistead ’07), taste wine with Vino-Verite co-owner and Community Business Liaison at SAAS Tom Hadjuk, enjoy appetizers by chef Joel Gamoran ’03, cookies prepared by Amy Underwood, head of the new SAAS Lunch Program, and eat dinner in the second-floor learning commons, where the sliding glass doors open up to turn most of the South wall into a balcony.
“It’s wonderful to see how far the school has evolved, and seems like the same mission tenets that I remember are still here,” said Helen Olsen ’08—a PhD candidate at Rutgers studying medical anthropology. “It’s great to hear how much student feedback was incorporated into the design of the building.” (Article: Students have their say in Seattle school project)
The night’s soundtrack included original music by alumnae Alana Bell ’03, Whitney Fliss ’05, Alexa Jarvis ’09, Jennifer Hoyt ’09, Rylie Degarmo ’11, and Isadora Matthews ’15, and was attended by community members young and old—from Lisa Feiertag’s ’02 new baby Felix to Canfield Smith, who was a SAAS History and Geography teacher and librarian at SAAS for 14 years.
“It feels pretty special to be invited here and to see it before the kids move in,” said Primomo. “SAAS knows it took the alumni and the community to get here. This is just a space right now, but it will be really cool to see how it comes alive when students come in and start to make meaning out of it.”