The Park School of Buffalo will dedicate a new science center at its campus in Snyder on Friday. The facility incorporates extensive landscaping and is designed to give students greater access to the outdoors.
Head of School Jeremy Besch said he also wants the new Knopp-Hailpern Science Center to be a community resource.
“What we intend for this building is a new, enhanced platform from which we can reach out to the wider community and bring them here, including a lot of our partner schools in the city, whose kids just don’t have this type of exposure to the natural world,” Besch said.
Park currently partners with two charter schools in Buffalo and plans to expand that number to five or six.
The new center features five lab spaces that open directly to the outdoors, state-of-the-art equipment, and, running alongside the building, a new stream constructed to improve the health of the school’s pond. Besch said the entire project was designed to be a bridge between the school’s academic buildings and the natural environment.
The formal dedication of the Knopp-Hailpern Science Center will be held at The Park School at 4 p.m. on Friday. The building is named in honor of the late Dr. Jacky Knopp and Dr. Raoul Hailpern, who taught mathematics at Park from the 1940s to early 2000s.
The Park School is a private, independent and Progressive school with about 300 students enrolled in prekindergarten through 12th grade. Progressive education is a tradition that emerged in the late 1800s and focuses on active learning and the whole development of a child.
Founded in 1912, The Park School is one of the oldest continually-run Progressive schools in the country.
“While we’ve spent 100 years of our history living outside and playing with the natural environment as a way of teaching science and stewardship, this building offers us a direct connection to it that we’ve just never had,” said Besch.