Colorado Academy announced today it has received a $3 million gift from Bryan Leach and Jennifer Gaudiani to launch the school’s major fundraising effort for a new Center for the Performing Arts. This is the second-largest single gift to Colorado Academy in the school’s more than 100-year history. In recognition, the new structure will be named the Leach Center for the Performing Arts.
“Bryan Leach and Jen Gaudiani are visionaries—as entrepreneurs and active contributors to the community, as well as philanthropists who know the value of the arts in children’s lives. We are grateful for their generous support of the school,” says Head of School Mike Davis, PhD.
With a total projected cost of $10 million, the Leach Center for the Performing Arts will replace the school’s existing Froelicher Theatre, which was constructed in 1976. The new structure, designed by Shears Adkins Rockmore Architects (SAR), will be new construction, built in the same location on campus as the current theater. Composed of stone, metal, and glass, it will have three times the current space and will include a 500-seat theater, a black box theater, and a new flex performance space for dance, recitals, and instruction. The Leach Center will also feature state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems and a technical theater space for innovative work combining theater and technology.
Says SAR architect Andy Rockmore, “Located at such a visible part of campus, the new Leach Center for the Performing Arts will be better able to express the vibrant performances happening within it. We are honored to be a part of helping CA reflect the value of the performing arts in student’s lives.”
For the Leach/Gaudiani family, the project is inspired by their own lifelong love of theater, musical theater, and dance. “Jen and I met and fell in love during a theatrical production,” Leach explains. “We are thrilled to imagine how this beautifully designed space will create hands-on experiences and inspire a new generation of CA students, as well as others all across the Front Range, to fall in the love with the performing arts.”
The Center for the Performing Arts is the final project in the school’s See it Through capital campaign. The gift announcement comes just days after CA opened its new 66,000-square-foot Athletic Center, which includes a new Field House, new climbing, fitness, and training centers, a new practice gym, and a refurbished and expanded competition gym. Also completed as part of the capital campaign are the Ponzio Arts Center and a renovation of the school’s historic, century-old Welborn House. Over the past 20 years, CA has worked to rebuild or upgrade nearly every building on the school’s 94-acre campus.
“The See it Through capital campaign is a tremendous community effort, and repeatedly, we have seen how improved facilities lead to even greater program offerings, community and student interest, faculty retention, and the best educational preparation possible for CA students,” says Davis. “We are excited to focus on our planning and fundraising to complete the Leach Center for the Performing Arts.”
About Bryan Leach and Jennifer Gaudiani
Leach is Founder and CEO of Ibotta, makers of a popular mobile app that has paid Americans over $500M in cash-back rewards since 2012. Previously, he was a partner at the law firm of Bartlit Beck LLP, in Denver, Colorado, where he specialized in international arbitration. Leach served as a law clerk to Justice David Souter at the United States Supreme Court and Judge Jose A. Cabranes on the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He is a graduate of Harvard, Oxford (Marshall Scholar), and Yale Law School, where he also participated in the Yale World Fellows program. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Colorado Academy.
Dr. Gaudiani is Founder and Medical Director of the Gaudiani Clinic, an outpatient clinic specializing in the medical complications of eating disorders. Dr. Gaudiani is board certified in internal medicine and one of a few internists in the country who carries the Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS) and Fellow of the Academy of Eating Disorders (FAED) designations. She is also the author of Sick Enough: A Guide to the Medical Complications of Eating Disorders (Routledge 2018). Dr. Gaudiani completed her undergraduate education at Harvard, received her medical degree from Boston University, and completed her residency and chief residency at Yale. She was previously an Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She has lectured both nationally and internationally.
For more information about the Leach Center for the Performing Arts or Colorado Academy, contact Renée Rockford, 303-914-2506.
To join the Leach/Gaudiani family in supporting the See it Through capital campaign, contact Gravely Wilson, 303-914-2543.