Raymond Building Renovation: Phase 1 (2004)



After months of planning, NIS embarked on a five-phase facilities revision with the successful completion of “Phase 1” in the fall of 2004, which culminated with a celebration of the school's 40th anniversary.

Construction started immediately after school finished in June, 2004, continued throughout the hot summer, and finished just in time for school to open a little later than usual, on Sept. 15. Maintaining the circular shape, the new building helped modernize the school and better cater to the needs of the current school community while utilizing the original design by Antonin Raymond in 1967.

The biggest changes were: (1) moving the library to what was called the MPR at the time (the area in the middle of the building; and (2) pulling the administrative offices out and up to a two-floor section on the outer-ring. These changes were actually, however, a return to the original concept of Raymond to maximize the available space through flexibility. The ECP building (Early Childhood Program) was also completely renovated at this time.

Through the ingenious use of sliding glass doors on both sides of the stage, the space was now able to be used as both a part of the new library and also as a performance area looking out into the new “Commons” cafeteria. The 2-floor administrative area allowed for increased classroom space along the inner circle. Other changes included rooms in the high school for small group work and collaboration space; school-wide air-conditioning (!), heating and wireless school-wide high-speed internet opened up the entire campus for all students to utilize for the first time.

On November 29, 2004, Aichi Governor Masaaki Kanda visited NIS to "officially" complete the Phase 1 Project and celebrate the school’s 40th Anniversary by placing the final “L” on the school sign in the front. Kanda was joined by Head of School Charles Barton, the NIS Board of Directors and Trustees, the "Phase 1" architects, and special guest Motohisa Furukawa, then a member of the Diet. The High School Student Council led the all-school assembly to give thanks from the students and to cut the 40th anniversary cake! We are especially grateful to Governor Kanda for being the second sitting governor to visit the school.

With the completion of Phase 1, NIS moved closer to the campus first envisioned in 1966. We thank everyone in the NIS community for supporting the project!


Phase 1 Photos