Ceremonial Groundbreaking Opens Construction Phase of Mars STEAM Wing

Friday, April 19, Foxcroft held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Mars STEAM Wing, the second of four phases in the School’s “Building for Our Future” campaign. The groundbreaking took place during the opening reception for Reunion Weekend when close to 150 alumnae, faculty, staff, trustees, and friends gathered just outside the current science wing.
“Tonight we break ground on the Mars STEAM Wing,” announced Head of School Cathy McGehee. “You stand in its footprint so you can imagine what it will look like. It will house state-of-the-art facilities to support our Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math programs. The building will have dedicated physics, biology, and chemistry labs, a large STEM classroom, a smaller STEM classroom, and three student project spaces. A community garden will be outside the bio and chem labs and strengthen outdoor learning.”

McGehee, along with donors Victoria B. Mars 1974 and her niece Charlotte Rossetter 2012, Board of Trustees Chair Natalie James Wiltshire 1995, and Foxcroft’s Co-Directors for STEAM Education Julie Fisher, Chair of the Fine Arts Department, and Katie Hergenreder, Chair of the STEM Department, spoke with excitement about the new learning spaces as students stood along the marked perimeter to visually represent the size and placement of the new building. 

Speaking about their multi-generational gift and the hopes and dreams they have for Foxcroft, Mars shared, “Foxcroft helped shape the successful and capable women we are today, and for that, we are grateful and would like to ensure that the School can continue to thrive for future generations of young women.” Rossetter echoed that, adding, “Both my cousin Bernadette and I are in STEAM-related fields, and the confidence and foundations we had leaving Foxcroft made that possible. The Mars STEAM Wing is our way of saying thank you to this School and ensuring future girls feel the same sense of confidence and possibility to pursue their passions.”

With a sense of hope for the future, the speakers, the four Mars women (Victoria, Charlotte, Pamela Mars Wright 1978, and Bernadette Russell 2003), the student representatives of the Project STEAM Build seminar, and members of the Board of Trustees took shovels in-hand to ceremoniously break ground on the new building. "Here we go — full STEAM ahead!" proclaimed Board Chair Natalie Wiltshire 1995. Representatives from Hord Coplan Macht and Coakley Williams Construction, the contractors partnering with Foxcroft on this building project, were in attendance alongside the Foxcroft community for this historic moment. 

Following the ceremony, attendees were encouraged to write their hopes and dreams for the Mars STEAM Wing on the asphalt using colorful chalk. Student CAPs also conducted guided tours through the current science wing classrooms and Innovation Lab spaces.

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An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.