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  • Writer's pictureGM Shay

Forward, Always Forward.

Over the past two months we have had the unique opportunity to be deeply engaged in the planning and design for two of Savannah’s most important institutions for young people.  One has a tradition of over 100 years of excellence at creating leaders from among Savannah’s young men, and the other is a relatively new institution devoted to the evolution of our community’s creative class.  Interestingly, Benedictine Military School’s motto “Forward, Always Forward” could be equally appropriate for The Creative Coast, too.

Now, let us be clear, there is little chance that anyone would confuse these two prestigious organizations!  But they may have something important in common.

Last week, the Creative Coast had a debut for their new digs in the old railroad warehouse that until recently housed SCAD’s Foundations Department.  The new facility will be called “The Creators’ Foundry”, and be home to the staff and board of the Creative Coast.  Also, this handsome old brick building will have spaces devoted to helping creative people find their entrepreneurial wings in spaces like the “Launch Pad”, the “Biz Lab” and the “Geek Pond”.  If that sounds like fun, you should meet Bea Wray and Charisse Bennett, the masterminds, and get to know them, because they know how to help this fun become a way of life, and a way to make a living. Their aim is to introduce the best and brightest creatives among us to the infrastructure and opportunity that makes capitalism cool.  We helped them define their goals, and create a master plan for The Creators’ Foundry, through a series of charettes, meetings, and brainstorming sessions.  The end results, documented by our own creative angel, Maggie Ward, can be seen on our website.  If ever there was a place devoted to moving forward, this is it!

Also last week, we completed working with Deb Antosca, the Principal at Benedictine Military School, and her math, science and art faculty, to finish writing the program for a new “STE(A)M wing” for their iconic 50 year old academic building.  This will provide a place for teaching advanced science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics that will redefine BC’s fabled 400, and re-establish the school’s leadership status.  The new wing will have collegiate level classrooms loaded with teaching technology and designed to inspire, as well as inform.  These new facilities will be coupled with continued renovations to the existing building that was the centerpiece of the Benedictine’s radical and modern architecture that has been in service since 1963.  Our team, led by architect and wizard Dave Moore, has completed the program and a conceptual design that you can find more about on our website.  This follows the creation of a 20 Year Vision Plan that was the centerpiece of a fundraising “quiet campaign” that gathered more than $4,000,000 over the past year, and was announced by headmaster Father Frank Ziemkiewicz on last Thursday.  For a complete copy of his announcement address look further into this blog.  The campaign will continue and hopes to raise enough for more academic improvements, an endowment for scholarships, and a new stadium so BC can finally have home football, lacrosse and soccer games on campus.

So, two very different institutions, each moving “Forward, Always Forward.”  Both aiming to transform Savannah through creativity and innovation.  Let’s hope this trend continues, and Savannah retains its traditions, while blazing new trails.  We couldn’t be any prouder to be a part of both these endeavors!


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