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The Inauguration of Magna Carta Hall and Oak Court
Posted 03/02/2010 02:54PM

The Inauguration of Magna Carta Hall and Oak Court


Click here to see a photo gallery of the inauguration ceremony (not available on all mobile devices)

On Tuesday, February 2nd, the grey of mid-winter gave way to blue just in time for the afternoon inauguration of Magna Carta Hall and Oak Court and the dedication of the Takla Fountain for International Understanding and the Tree of Life.

TASIS faculty and staff, administrators, Board members, Runnymede Borough Council members, representatives from the European Council of International Schools, Fadi Takla 'TE01, bother Naim 'TE04, and Mrs. Mouna Takla, as well as friends of TASIS, architects and builders all joined to witness the formal opening of the new buildings.

Architect David Mayernik designed the buildings, and the local UK firm Harris Partnership managed the project and brought the plans to fruition, working closely with Francis Construction to complete the build.

A striking feature of Magna Carta Hall is the clock tower, which was partially funded by a gift from the 2007/8 Student Council. Likewise, the restoration of the reclaimed oak arches of Oak Court was made possible through a donation from the 2008/9 Student Council. Thus the new buildings reflect the participation of students in contributing to the aesthetic appearance of the school for future generations to enjoy. Magna Carta Hall houses upper school administrative offices, a large multi-use room on the top floor, and a storage area in the basement.

Oak Court houses four classrooms and a light-flooded atrium, which links to the existing Thorpe House and Coach House. The walk through loggia, impressively framed with 400-year old oak arches and a brick colonnade, connects the Coach House courtyard with the new upper school pedestrian quadrangle. From across the quadrangle, the 18th century timber frame of the Renalds Herne dormitory complements the arches, creating a harmonious space.

An integral part of the project is the Takla Fountain for International Understanding, a gift from the Takla family. All five Takla sons graduated from TASIS England, two of whom were on hand with their mother, Mrs. Mouna Takla to present their gift. Fadi Takla '01 presented the fountain and spoke of the enduring connection he feels to the school and to the teachers who provided him with his education.    

The TASIS Parents' Council offered the gift of a magnificent magnolia tree, in honor of TASIS Founder Mrs. M. Crist Fleming. Mrs. Johns spoke of Mrs. Fleming's inspirational leadership and to her strength, which is symbolized in the aptly named Tree of Life.

A magnificent Italian urn, a gift from Board member Fernando Gonzalez, adds the final detail to complete this serene corner of the campus.

Click here to see a photo gallery of the inauguration ceremony (not available on all mobile devices)


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