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BFS Makes Groundbreaking History in Downtown Brooklyn

Breaking ground for the new BFS Upper School:
Trustees Brad Mulder ’83 and Lara Holliday,
and US Head Bob Bowman

What a great moment in the history of our school! We often think of history as something that happened long ago, but we actually make history every day of our lives. Some moments are particularly impactful, like the one that happened just yesterday for Brooklyn Friends School as we broke ground on the future home of our Upper School at One MetroTech Center, almost one year after BFS signed our 49-year lease with Forest-City Ratner Companies. 


We so appreciate the many friends of BFS who share in this joyous moment, whether present or not among the crowd at yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony. In case you missed it, there was a great article heralding our future Upper School home in Tuesday’s New York Daily News – off about our school’s age by almost 150 years, but no matter. This exciting and long-time dream for BFS will be realized at last, and it will happen best with your involvement.

Providing for the future growth of Brooklyn Friends School is critical to its success. Our school’s long history and its expansion, growth and capital improvements occurred only because BFS community members recognized that the future of BFS is more important than its present at any given moment, and that future would only be possible with their stewardship of BFS and their charitable contributions to our annual giving campaign, our endowment and our capital campaigns. Please make your gift to the Brooklyn Friends Fund today and know that your school also needs your support and the support of every BFS community member for its endowment and its coming capital campaign for the new Upper School at One MetroTech.

BFS has certainly had other groundbreakings through the years, but whether we actually held groundbreaking ceremonies is unclear in records, even with insight from both the Property and Schools Committee Minutes of New York Monthly Meeting. Below is a brief timeline listing a few possible groundbreaking ceremonies from Brooklyn Friends School history:

One MetroTech Center,
future home of the BFS Upper School


1867: BFS opens at the Brooklyn Meeting House on Schermerhorn.

1886: BFS’s one-story addition to the Brooklyn Meeting House.

1902: BFS’s “little red schoolhouse” at 112 Schermerhorn, “broke ground” on May 19, 1902.

1937: BFS’s Friends School Field House.

1972: BFS began renovations of Pearl Street, February 29, 1972.

2006: BFS held a groundbreaking ceremony in the summer for the Charles A. Leeds, Jr. Rooftop Playground at Pearl Street, just one of the many capital improvements made possible by our 2005-2007 capital campaign.


Sledgehammers at the ready for yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony:
Eve Bromberg ’15, Airenakhue Omoagbon ’15, Head of School Larry Weiss, 
Jonathan Bach ’15,Trustee Brad Mulder ’83, Trustee Lara Holliday, Upper School Head Bob Bowman
BFS alumni at yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony:Anand Vora ’01, Richard Reiben ’71, Director of Alumni Lekeia Varlack ’99, Barbara Ingersoll Rothenberg ’63, Derek Lynch, ’89, Alap Vora ’03, Karim Camara ’88.