We have a new lobby in one of our buildings – the Elizabeth C. Gilkeson Center – and  as you can see from these two pictures it’s quite stunning.

This is the first place most visitors see and it’s where almost everyone passes through at least once a day and usually more often. It’s where visitors are received, students wait for buses and where their  drivers come in from the cold and and can turn off their idling engines.

It’s a place to read a book, have a conversation and watch the PDS world whirl by. In other words it’s an important place for the school community – reception area, theater foyer, display space, waiting room and  agora.

It’s a place for ideas, inspiration, imagination and invention and a place to find the company to do it all with.

It’s colorful, comfortable, appealing and attractive.  It includes the living green wall of plants and a LED monitor to help us keep track of events and stay informed. It has cabinets and wall space for display. It has room to move and  places to sit.

And – it also has an elephant. (You will have to look for that.)

This is a place of beauty where form serves function. I hope you come and see it soon. And when you see Board president Stan Lichens thank him for this transformation and let him know what you think.


  1. Sue Hart:

    Imaginative and beautiful; just what we expect from PDS…..however in rough times, it becomes also tangible proof of the community’s deep committment to each current student to not defer transformation until times are flush. My appreciation and Congratulations!

  2. Remy Oktay:

    Stan did a great job transforming the lobby. It looks like a mini version of the Chapman room. It used to be a place where a couple people could talk but now it has grown so that it is a place where many people can do their homework or have a conversation. I really like how you are making more places into multi purpose areas. By the way I love the elephant.
    Visit us at
    – Remy

  3. Josie:

    Hi Remy:
    I love that Eames elephant too. Hard to say why it is so appealing but it is. I love the way the lobby is now a place that so many different groups use for all kinds of things. Jake sometimes has his history class there; admissions visitors wait for their appointments; kids hand out; and actors practice their lines before theater class.

    Good observation on multipurpose use – that actually is the intention: to create beautiful and comfortable spaces where individuals, and groups large and small can be, work, read, play, talk etc.

    Our next hope is to create a learning zone that combines several classrooms and makes a fluid working space for all kinds of learners and learning.

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