The construction of the new student center is now under way. It started off with a ground breaking ceremony on September 21, 2016, an event, organized by ACS and America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF), among the official guests of which were the Ambassador of the United States of America, the Honorable Eric S. Rubin, Deputy Minister of Education and Science Mr. Diyan Stamatov, Deputy Minister of the Interior Mr. Tsyvatko Georgiev, Deputy Mayor of Sofia Municipality Dr. Todor Chobanov, ACS and ABF trustees, faculty, partners, friends, many parents, as well as the full student body.
The ACS choir opened performing the national anthems of Bulgaria and the United States of America. In his congratulatory address, ACS President Dr. Richard Ewing quoted Thomas Jefferson, “Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.” “Investment in education is critical to the betterment of humankind and to the success of democratic ideas and ideals. It also just happens to be the best gift that parents can ever give to their children,” Dr. Ewing said. He added that people have made this investment because of ACS achievements but that this project was about the future. He turned to the students next: “Because of our hope and our faith in your present and your unseen future, we believe you will accomplish great things.”
Dr. Roger Whitaker, Chair of the ACS Board of Trustees and the founding President of the re-opened American College of Sofia, pointed out: “We are going to build a spectacular new Campus Center. But our goal is not to win architectural awards. Our commitment, instead, is based on our realization that space use affects education! It makes a difference in how teachers teach and how students learn. There is substantially significant link between natural light from windows with views and student achievement. As Winston Churchill once wrote: “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”
In her congratulatory note Minister of Education and Science Meglena Kuneva wrote: “When you build a school, love, respect, and homage to knowledge are built in. The American College of Sofia stands out because ever since the school’s founding it has evolved, kept its high academic standard, and has responded well to the challenges of time.” Geostroy AD were appointed the building contractor after a multistage open tender procedure.
The first of its kind new construction on the College campus since the 1930s, is made possible thanks to the America for Bulgaria Foundation, which provided nearly $8.6 million toward the project, which is 80% of its total cost. The remainder was raised with the extraordinary support of the American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) program of USAID and other donors who have made possible this transformational project through their most generous gifts and grants. Geostroy AD were appointed the building contractor after a multistage open tender procedure.
Completing the project is calculated to take 14 months. The new student center will include a library/media center, new performing arts auditorium, cafeteria, other new facilities and equipment to support teaching and learning, and will offer ACs students the chance for highest-level educational, extracurricular, and entertainment activities, corresponding to their impressive academic achievements in Bulgaria and abroad.