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Malvern Prep – Alumnus Jim Bannon Shares Nave Newell Projects

Some projects make you smile a little more and hold your head a little bit higher. For me, that occurs when I’m working with Malvern Preparatory School. As an alumnus, I consider it an honor to have the opportunity to shape the future of a campus that helped shape me as a person.

It all started back in 2005 when Malvern was looking to build a performing arts center. Malvern chose Philadelphia-based architects, Voith & Mactavish, to design what has become the Duffy Arts Center, a visually striking building that sits at the top of campus and perfectly matches the character of the 100-year-old campus. Nave Newell teamed with Voith & Mactavish on the site design and land development approvals for the Duffy Arts Center and that was the beginning of a nearly 20-year working relationship with Malvern Prep.

In the ensuing years, we have worked on many projects for Malvern Prep, including refreshing and adding a rain garden to the campus entrance drive, adding a secondary means of egress, and creating a new science center. For the new science center, known as the Saint Augustine Center for Social Impact, Nave Newell once again partnered with Voith & Mactavish. This beautiful building addition, located between the existing Carney and Sullivan Halls, includes laboratory space, a robotics workshop, a greenhouse, and a large common area. The Center opened for student use in 2020 and was immediately met with praise from both students and faculty!

At the same time, Malvern also took the opportunity to redesign the quad area behind the building. The result was an outdoor gathering space for students with improved pedestrian connectivity between all the buildings around the quad. At the center, a beautiful paver and flagstone plaza that refreshed and emphasized the entrance to the Duffy Arts Center.

In late 2021, Malvern Prep asked us to help with their latest project and, of course, we jumped at the opportunity! Malvern envisioned a dedicated space for counseling and support services and they enlisted the help of Howard Lebold and his team at McGillin Architecture. The result was the Vic Maggitti Pavilion, a classic structure in line with the campus character, with some modern touches. Nave Newell handled the site design and borough land development approvals before handing it over to IMC Construction. Construction is well under way and, when completed, I’m sure it will be a great addition to the campus quad!

I may have only been there for four short years a long time ago, but Malvern Prep has had a lasting impact on who I am as a person. I can only hope that, in some small way, the spaces that I have helped design on the campus will help current and future students enjoy the campus even more.