Michael Greenebaum said it was a day that his late parents, philanthropists and community leaders Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum, would have cherished.
“My parents would be so proud of all the donors who followed our gift with their own generous gifts,” he said at the groundbreaking ceremony on Nov. 6 for a state-of the-art middle school building at McDonogh School in Owings Mills. “Together, we are building a stronger McDonogh.”
Current and future McDonogh students, donors and school leaders gathered for the ceremony for the middle school facility, which is expected to open in approximately 18 months. During the ceremony, school leaders announced that the building will be named the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Middle School.
“The Greenebaum family name stands for loyalty, commitment, hard work and service,” said Head of School David J. Farace. “These are traits that we aim to teach our students each and every day. It is both fitting and appropriate that our new middle school will bear this special name.”
Established in 1873, McDonogh is an independent, co-educational, pre-kindergarten-12 school with a five-day boarding option and bus service to Baltimore City and Baltimore, Howard, Carroll and Anne Arundel counties.
A longtime McDonogh parent and trustee, Michael Greenebaum pledged $8 million to the middle school project on behalf of the Stewart and Marlene Greenebaum Family Foundation last February. In making the lead gift, the Greenebaum family challenged the greater McDonogh community to raise the remaining funds for the facility.
“When I look at all of your faces, I am overwhelmed with emotion because it is for you and future generations that this new middle school is being built,” Greenebaum said to the students in the audience. “I am not addressing you as kids or students, I see future doctors, cancer researchers, engineers, and yes, maybe even a World Series MVP for the Baltimore Orioles.”
The Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Middle School will feature flexible classrooms to accommodate teacher interactions with students, ranging from one-on-one meetings to hands-on group lessons.
In addition, the facility will house a 21st-century library, a learning center, visual and performing arts spaces, and a makerspace, all of which will greatly enhance cross-curricular experiences as well as interactions among students and faculty. The cutting-edge space will be infused with premier contemporary technology.
Designed by Bowie Gridley Architects of Washington D.C., the $25 million, 67,000-square-foot building is being constructed by the Reisterstown-based Chesapeake Contracting Group.
The Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Middle School replaces the Finney Building, a structure built in 1937. Head of Middle School Darren Ford announced that the Finney name will be preserved on campus.
“The Senior Quad in front of the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Middle School will be refurbished and named the Finney Senior Quad as a tribute to Dr. John M. T. Finney, a longtime member and president of our board of trustees,” Ford said.
Participating in the program’s ceremonial first dig were Greenebaum and his wife, Adele; Farace and Ford; Robert L. Young III, president of McDonogh’s board of trustees; Jennifer Bowders, associate head of middle school; and seventh grade students Langston Riding and Mark Cherches.
Following the ceremony, Michael Greenebaum, an accomplished guitarist, joined the Middle School Rock Shop band in playing Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s 1974 timeless classic, “Takin’ Care of Business.” In addition, McDonogh’s fourth grade drum corps entertained guests at the ceremony.