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Tim Govert spoke eloquently and humorously about Blake, remembering him as a loving and mischievous friend to so many. Angela Tawfik prayed beautifully for us all, thanking God for the design, praying for safety and success through the project. And Board Chair, Jeff Lloyd, led the groundbreaking itself.
We sang the “Non Nobis” at the end, and then students all tossed 525 tennis balls into the air.
Here are my remarks to open the day. I was very pleased with the morning. It was a simple but beautiful ceremony.
Good morning and thank you for coming today.
Why are we here? To begin together to construct a new building here at Trinity, the Blake Hubbard Commons.
This is a day that we have all been waiting for with high hopes, and I give thanks that we have come to this place. But it is also a day we wish had never come. Many of us have worked very hard to get to this day, many have given generously—thank you! But I would trade this day, all the money we have raised for it, this building for the life of the young man for whom it is named, just as I would trade it for any one of you Trinity students. Like each of you, Blake Hubbard bore the image of God, and he was dearly loved by his parents (Jeff and Patty, along with Blake’s sister, Lauren, we welcome you). May this space always be a fitting remembrance of Blake and a lasting tribute to Blake’s savior, Jesus Christ.
What is a Commons? A Commons is a shared space. You TK Cubs have your own room here at Trinity—that is not a commons. In the Middle and Upper Schools, teachers share rooms—Dr. Hall and Mrs. Stepp use the same room for Middle School Science, and Mr. Hicks and Miss Hardy share a room in the Upper School too. But a Commons is shared by everyone in some way, for many purposes. So now at Trinity, the Great Room is a sort of Commons, as is the Blue Gym sometimes, and even the Upper School Library. But none of these spaces were designed and built to serve this way.
But our architects from Duda Paine (Dave Davis and Turan Duda were there) have designed this new building as a Commons Space. And our builder, Riggs Harrod (Bruce Harrod was ill and sent his greetings; Debbie Parrish, Dean Brown, Sean Kane, and Bruce’s wife Kathy were present] will build this space as a Commons Space.
This is where our Upper School students will come for study hall and free periods. This is where the Middle School will hang out at breaks. This is where both MS and US will eat their lunches, where US will have Cornerstone in the mornings. On Thursdays, you can imagine the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools all coming here at different times for worship. There will be rooms for group projects. When I walk down the hall now, I often see MS students sitting on the floors working on laptops or in groups of two or three collaborating on an assignment—this space is built just for that kind of work. This space connects directly to and opens up into the Library, so that it is an extension of the school’s learning and media center. The small commons space upstairs in the US will now connect to the reading loft of the BHC and will flow downstairs into the larger Commons. It will surely be the Hub of Trinity.
Raise your hands if you ever met Blake Hubbard. A Trinity mother told me recently that her second grader asked his dad recently, “Dad, who is Blake Hubbard?” Many of you have that question. Blake was a kindergartner in Mrs. Watts class, a first grader in Mrs. Wright’s and Holland’s class, a second grader in Mrs. Bohn’s class. He was in Mrs. Spiegel’s sixth grade homeroom. He was a Middle School student who liked to play silly games like Human or Not Human (ask Mr. Dicks about that), who took a very long time to eat his lunch (ask Mrs. Whisenhunt). And he was only halfway into his ninth grade year when he died in an accident.
How many of you remember where you were the day Blake died? That memory is still fresh and painful for many who are here. But it will fade for Trinity students over the years. What will remain—and this building will help it remain—is the memory of a young man who embodied some of the best of what Trinity wants to be: He was a playful boy, he was a good friend to many and created community wherever he went, and he loved and followed the Lord Jesus with his young heart.
As Headmaster, that is what I want for all of you: To learn in playful unhurriedness, to be good friends and connect with others in loving ways, and to love and serve the Lord Jesus. If this building can celebrate those qualities and call us all to live like this, then it will serve its purpose well. To God be the glory.