PITTSFIELD — Maine Central Institute, an independent secondary school for both boarding and day students, has announced a plan for major renovation of the JR Cianchette Hall on campus.

MCI Headmaster Christopher Hopkins announced the plan in a news release, saying gifts to the MCI’s Founders Campaign have made the work possible.

JR Cianchette Hall was built in 1958, functioned as classroom space for the mathematics and science departments until 2003, and has served a variety of uses since then. When renovation is complete, MCI’s visual and performing arts programs will be in the building.

MCI, in addition to attracting boarding students from across the globe, also is the high school for students in School Administrative District 54, which consists of Pittsfield, Burnham and Detroit.

“Thanks to early generous contributions to the Founders Campaign, MCI has begun work to transform an existing building on campus into the Visual and Performing Arts Education Center, bringing all of the School’s arts programs under one roof,” Hopkins said in the release.

MCI officials couldn’t be reached for additional comment Thursday on the project.


According to the release, the starting phase of the project will be in the first floor, and the new space will have a large vocal and musical instrument center, as well as a choral and piano studio. There also will be spaces for a music library, a digital media laboratory, recording space and practice rooms, as well as restroom improvements and making the space more accessible for people with disabilities.

The first-floor renovations will cost $700,000, which was contributed by donors to the Founders Campaign. The campaign was launched publicly in August 2016 during MCI’s reunion weekend.

The plan for the second-floor renovation includes renovation of spaces for visual art, the Bossov Ballet, and theater, and was revealed to the school’s board of trustees in early February.

Board President Norbert Young Jr. said in the release the board was gratefully to all the Founders Campaign donors for making the renovation possible.

“Their generous support is creating outstanding opportunities for MCI students involved in the visual and performing arts. This is just one example of what can be accomplished with the support of MCI’s alumni and friends. As the Founders Campaign continues, we are keeping our promise to the future,” he said.

The Founders Campaign aims to raise $6.5 million and is the largest fundraising effort in the school’s history, as well as its first comprehensive campaign to support academics, the arts, athletics and the endowment. Nearly 150 donors have given $4.41 million to the campaign so far.

Gifts to the campaign are being matched dollar for dollar as part of the $500,000 Koester Family Challenge. Gifts totaling $328,308 have been matched thus far.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: