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Announcing the Olander Center for Student Life at the A.E. Finley Activity Center
Announcing the Olander Center for Student Life at the A.E. Finley Activity Center

In August 2020, Ravenscroft announced plans to undertake a significant renovation and expansion of the A.E. Finley Activity Center, which has served as a vital and much-loved home to athletic competitions, health and physical education classes, schoolwide gatherings, commencement ceremonies and more since its dedication on April 27, 1974.

The A.E. Finley Activity Center remains home to the Main Arena, aquatics center and exercise facilities, as well as the Athletic and Physical Education departments. The renovation will bring numerous new elements to the space, providing additional amenities that enhance the school's current offerings. The completed facility will be a 33,000-square-foot community hub with features including a contemporary dining room, meeting areas, wellness and meditation rooms, a revamped RavenZone school store and an expanded Alumni Hall of Fame suite with a balcony overlooking Stephanou Field.

In recognition of the generosity of lead donors Michael and Candace Olander, we are pleased to announce the Olander Center for Student Life at the A.E. Finley Activity Center.

With three children currently attending Ravenscroft, the Olanders are deeply invested in the school community and said they are inspired by the opportunities an updated facility will create.

"We envision a revitalized space that offers an energized and attractive environment," Candace Olander said. "It's going to change the entire feel of the campus by providing a central hub for student life. It will create a bridge strengthening the connection between our Middle School and Upper School."

Michael Olander said they also saw tremendous benefit in the school's plans for health and wellness spaces that encourage Ravens to care for their minds and spirits as much as their bodies, describing them as "near and dear to our hearts."

"That's where I see the building's innovative programming as being really valuable, because it can help students deal with the complexity of the world," he said. "Having a world-class facility that really matches the school's vision for its students makes a statement."

Amy Batten, Chair of Ravenscroft's Board of Trustees, described the project — slated for completion within the next 12 months — as "a wonderful confluence of long-term planning, real-time responsiveness to the needs of our students, and the generosity of a lead donor. Ravenscroft has always prioritized the health and well-being of our community, and we find it is more important than ever to be mindful of social, emotional and physical wellness."

"This space will be transformative, bringing our mission and Lead From Here approach to student health, wellness and community that honors the commitment to Ravenscroft of A.E. Finley and the A.E. Finley Foundation," Head of School Doreen Kelly said. "Our goal is to continue to build a community where all have a sense of belonging. We are so grateful to Michael and Candace for their support of our vision and the many ways it will benefit our students and the broader school community."

Learn more about the vision and progression of this project — including additional architectural renderings, an animated fly-through video, ongoing storytelling and frequently updated photos from the construction site — on our updated project page.