September 12, 2011

UW Bothell breaks ground on new conservatory

On hand for the conservatory groundbreaking were, from left, Community Liaison for U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee Kelly Marquardt, conservatory benefactor Gordon Green, Bothell Mayor Mark Lamb and UW Bothell Vice Chancellor Richard Penny.

On hand for the conservatory groundbreaking were, from left, Community Liaison for U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee Kelly Marquardt, conservatory benefactor Gordon Green, Bothell Mayor Mark Lamb and UW Bothell Vice Chancellor Richard Penny.

Local dignitaries and university officials marked an important milestone for the UW Bothell campus when they held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory Sept. 9.

The ceremony brought the projects benefactor, Gordon Green, one step closer to his vision for a conservatory and greenhouse thats both accessible to the public and dedicated to the legacy of his pioneering Bothell family.

The conservatory and greenhouse, which will contain a classroom, botanical laboratory and exhibit space, will be located at the north end of the campus wetlands and serve as a working educational center for UW Bothell.

Green wanted to give back to the community where his family took root. So, he chose to have the conservatory named for his mother, Sarah Simonds Green.

Both the Simonds and Green families played prominent roles in Bothell’s history. In 1912, Sarah Simonds was a member of the first graduating class at Bothell High School. Her father, Henry Simonds, was the founder and first principal of the high school. Sarah was a talented pianist, active garden club member, and devoted to her family. She also attended classes at the UW.

In 1919, Charles Green, Green’s father, founded Green’s Garage (later called Green Motors), the first Ford automobile dealership in the Bothell area.  It remained under family ownership until 1965.  Four generations of the family have received high school diplomas in the Northshore School District, and three generations have earned UW degrees.

Green began his college career at the University of Washington. He completed his bachelors degree at UCLA, and went on to earn a Master of Arts and a doctorate at the University of Southern California.

Among his many accomplishments was dramatic training in New York directed by Erwin Piscator, where his classmates included Marlon Brando and Elaine Stritch. Later, Green became a valued member of a theater company in Houston, Texas. A talented but unpublished playwright, Green spent the bulk of his professional life as a college professor of English and drama.

“The community in and around our growing campus is deeply grateful for the Green familys generosity,” says UW Bothell Chancellor Kenyon Chan. “Dr. Greens desire to build an educational space says so much about his familys dedication to the community from which it grew.”

The facility, which is currently in the permitting process, is scheduled to open in 2013.