Flintridge Prep Opens Science, Culture Center

A $2.5-million science and cultural center at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Canada Flintridge was officially opened last week with a series of open houses.

The center has a 400-seat auditorium with a computerized theatrical lighting system and a classroom building where computer, chemistry, physics and biology laboratory classes will be held. The auditorium, the classrooms and a third building with restrooms and storage rooms are linked in the concrete-and-steel facility by a network of overhead beams.

The buildings, which have been under construction for 22 months, were the first added to the campus in 20 years.

John McCarthy, the school's financial director, said the 16,500-square-foot center is the largest built in the 52-year history of the school. Situated at Foothill Boulevard and Crown Avenue, it has been soundproofed to muffle noise from the nearby Foothill Freeway.

"The classrooms have hardly any noise from the freeway at all," McCarthy said.

Classes in the science laboratories began last week after the last open house. The first event scheduled at the auditorium is the play "Ten Little Indians" on May 23.

The center was financed through contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and from the school's endowment fund, McCarthy said. The auditorium and classrooms have been named after contributors and alumni of Flintridge Prep, a private school for grades 7 through 12.

The Norris Auditorium is named for Kenneth and Eileen Norris, who contributed $300,000 toward its construction. The physics laboratory has been dedicated in the memory of Kenneth E. Post, a 1979 graduate who was killed in a car accident two years later. The other classrooms have been dedicated to the Braun Foundation, the William H. Keck Foundation and alumnus William Murfey.

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