The Center for Innovation and Collaboration will be the first academic space at Blair that is open, where you can literally walk into the midst of intellectual discourse. It emphasizes what we've always said about learning at Blair: that it extends beyond the walls of the classroom. The creation of classrooms without walls is a visual representation of what is happening intellectually.
Nathan Molteni, Dean of Academics
Opportunities for collaboration abound across Blair's campus and curriculum as departments come together to make learning truly interdisciplinary. Every grade level learns the importance of teamwork and problem-solving, beginning with Blair's freshman seminar and Blair LEADS coursework, and continuing through junior and senior years as classes across departments underscore these skills as necessary for success in the 21st-century world. Perhaps nowhere is this more true than on Park Street, where student “makers” from different academic disciplines are fleshing out a wide range of ideas in Blair’s maker space, a laboratory/workshop where students are engaged in hands-on, design-and-build work.
The opening of the Center for Innovation and Collaboration (CIC) in September 2017 will provide even more dedicated space for young innovators to engage in multidisciplinary academic study that inspires creativity, promotes innovative thinking and fosters collaboration. This flexible, modern facility will serve as a community-wide learning commons that will powerfully augment students’ curricular and co-curricular Blair experience, providing enhanced opportunities to apply intellectual concepts to real-world issues and for the relationships at the heart of the Blair experience to flourish.
To further amplify learning across campus, Blair is also in the process of repurposing Bogle and Weber Halls for the study of science and math, respectively. With the Weber Hall renovation scheduled for completion at the start of the 2017-2018 school year, the mathematics department will have streamlined and dedicated space for the first time in School history. The larger project of renovating Bogle Hall to best accommodate the teaching of biology, chemistry, physics and an array of science electives will then begin, ultimately allowing students to engage in more sustained and in-depth labs and undertake more independent research projects.
Community Learning Hub
The CIC’s highly configurable spaces will provide flexible, inviting learning and meeting space for clubs, study groups, conferences, guest lectures and a host of other co-curricular educational opportunities. The atrium-ceilinged Collaboration Forum, the building’s effectively sized and technology-rich centerpiece, will become home to Blair’s renowned Skeptics lecture series, and we envision experts from many fields and every corner of the globe sharing their knowledge with the Blair community in this exciting venue.
With computer science, engineering and robotics anchored in dedicated and well-equipped classrooms in the CIC, Blair’s technology curriculum will have room to expand and grow. Students and faculty working in technology will take advantage of their proximity to the CIC’s art studios, media labs and maker space to collaborate with student and faculty artists on any number of projects, and students can easily continue to work outside of class hours in the CIC’s readily accessible facilities.
Blair’s fine arts department will hold classes in the CIC’s ceramics studio, two fully equipped media labs and airy, light-filled drawing, painting and architecture studios. Beyond the academic class day, these facilities will be available to all members of the community, making the CIC a place where ideas pertaining to many disciplines come to life. Students will be empowered to use the CIC’s tools and spaces to create real-world solutions to issues and problems they encounter in any class.