The Bushnell Center Foundation Stone Ceremony

HOUSE BLESSING


May soul be living in this building
May this soul be permeated by the Spirit
Who shall seek in the foundation
Firm will,
That in it may grow
The sense of goodness
In all the building’s rooms
And that from above
There may unite
The blessing of the Spirit
And the grace of God
In all who work herein.


—RUDOLF STEINER, PRAYERS AND GRACES 
(COLLECTED BY MICHAEL JONES, 1987)

Earlier this fall, a small group of faculty and staff laid the foundation stone of The Bushnell Center for Athletics & Community in a ceremony that remembered everyone’s efforts in creating this space for coming together. We are only weeks away from its completion. As attendance was limited, we would like to share highlights from this inspirational moment with everyone. Dr. Paolo Carini opened the ceremony with a welcoming reflection:

“We are gathered here together as a spiritual community for the dedication of this beautiful center. As I was reflecting about this remarkable achievement, the image of reincarnation came to me. Our entire school, grade school and high school, went through many incarnations from its original home many years ago to now. And we all know that spiritual forces are always directly involved in the formation of the new bodies needed for our development: from the actual hands-on involvement in the construction of the physical building to the financial support that made the construction possible, to the vision in the mind of the architect, all the way to the spiritual intention at the source of the entire project. Let’s invite all those friends now to join us in this celebration; the souls of those who have crossed the threshold or that cannot be here physically today and have contributed to this magnificent new embodiment of our school. Let’s welcome all our friends in this circle.”

Laurence Jaquet, a long-time SFWS teacher and wife of talented architect and designer David Bushnell, who the center is named after, remembered her late husband:

 “Although he didn’t know it at the time, this is the last building he got to design. He poured his heart and soul into it. He would be overjoyed to see it today. Good buildings are designed for a specific place and purpose; they are not transposable. This building belongs in this place, this school, this community. David was a part of this community and knew it intimately; therefore, he knew how to design the right building for it. We joined SFWS 24 years ago when looking for a school for our daughter Léa. We met Monique, Dagmar, and John Bloom and were convinced. The school community became our family as we grew from kindergarten through high school with both our daughters. David designed the high school, the nursery, and the community center as if they were his family’s homes. His spirit now shares light and strength and blessings with this building and our school.”

Dr. Joan Caldarera drew parallels between this foundation stone and that of the first Waldorf school blessed by Steiner 100 years ago: 

“Steiner thanked the first person to think of the founding of the school and who supported it since its opening. For us, that would include the Dakins and our dear Monique, who is here today. Steiner addressed the teachers, who dedicate their work to the Waldorf school, like our faculty represented here by the College members who are witnessing this. He also thanked the Waldorf School Association, which we also have as everyone who is part of the school in whatever capacity belongs to our WSA. I will add our Board of Trustees, who volunteer their care, cooperation, and vigilance; all of those dear workers, staff of the school, who make it their task to protect the school; and the parents, children, and pupils without whom we would have no school at all.”

The Bushnell Center foundation stone was built by Aimee Golant, the high school’s former metal arts teacher, and made to emulate the original Steiner foundation stone. The original was a double pentagon dodecahedron made of copper which was laid into the ground for the first Goetheanum building in Dornach, Switzerland. Ten years later, a tragic fire destroyed the nearly completed building. In1923, at the Christmas Foundation meeting, Rudolf Steiner presented the ‘Dodecahedron of Man,’ as he called it, to the members of the newly-formed General Anthroposophical Society.
 


Dr. Caldera finished the ceremony with gratitude and read the verse laid within The Bushnell Center dodecahedron: 

“With thankful hearts, we lay the foundation stone for this new building, which has come into existence through the combined efforts of so many people. As we now, according to time-honored custom, lay this foundation stone into the earth, we will give it the following words, written on this document:” 

May there reign here spirit-strength in love; 
May there work here spirit-light in goodness; 
Born from certainty of heart,
And from steadfastness of soul,
So that we may bring to young human beings
Bodily strength for work, inwardness of soul and clarity of spirit. 
May this place be consecrated to such a task;
May young minds and hearts here find Servers of the light, 
endowed with strength, 
Who will guard and cherish them.
Those who here lay the stone as a sign 
Will think in their hearts of the spirit 
That should reign in this place,
So that the foundation may be firm
Upon which there shall live and weave and work: 
Wisdom that bestows freedom,
Strengthening spirit-power, 
All-revealing spirit-life
This we wish to affirm 
In service to the Spiritual World
With pure intent
And with good will.

—FOUNDATION STONE VERSE FOR THE ADDITIONAL BUILDING OF THE WALDORF SCHOOL IN STUTTGART, 1921 (STEINER’S NOTEBOOK; TRANSLATION: E.M. HUTCHINS)