(1914 – 1923)
In the morning of March 18th of 1914, Gimnasio Moderno opened its doors to 39 boys who were divided according to their ages in two sections: Nariño and Ricaurte.
In the Torreones house, the first headquarters of the Gimnasio, the students present the “gymnastics review” before the citizens that are walking through the Carrera Séptima with Calle 57.
A characteristic that has always prevailed in the school is the humor of the students as a calling in life.
THE MONTESSORI METHOD
Mister Agustin implemented in Colombia the methodology designed by Maria Montessori for the first school years. Boys and girls arrived to the Gimnasio to play and learn with this European model.
FIELDTRIP TO SOGAMOSO
The fieldtrips are another element that made part of the shake-up that the Gimnasio gave to traditional and passive education. In this picture, you see the students that “horse-back riding” participated in an expedition to Sogamoso.
MERRY GO ROUND
The children played in open spaces that the house that was rented for the functioning of the institution offered.
Ricardo Lleras Codazzi, known by everyone as “Papa Rico”, because he gave the children coins, taught geography and love for nature over the terrain’s deviation.
The first Gimnasio Moderno students climb the eastern mountains to visit the basilic of the Fallen Lord of Monserrate, one of the first field trips of the school. With a hat, gazing at the horizon, Mister Agustin is taking a break.
GIMNASIO MODERNO AWARDS
The three main distinctions with which the Gimnasio rewards its students: Personal Effort Cup, Agustin Nieto Caballero Field Trip Spirit award and the Beautiful Temper Award.
The students draw what their hearts tell them to draw during an outdoors class in the Torreones House, first headquarters of the Gimnasio Moderno.
In the manual works class, the boys learned to work with wood and the use of tools.
THE PARTY OF THE GIMNASIO
On the 29th of June, the activities that ended with the first semester of the school year took place. The family members of the students arrived, dressed in a very elegant way, for the program of the day.
HOMAGE TO CERVANTES
Wearing a poncho and hat, the young expectators watch their peers representing the Quijote, an outdoors theater adaptation that awoke special interest for the things that were starting to take place in the Gimnasio.
Mister Tomas Samper Brush nails the first stake in the land donated to the Gimnasio by his brother, mister Jose Maria Samper Brush, for the construction of the current buildings of the institution.
With a brotherly hug and stealthy secret, the Principal, mister Pablo Vila, greets the members of the Samper family, great benefactors of the Gimnasio.
The first chaplain of the school was Monsignor Emilio Valenzuela, a religious man with the teacher calling that further on, inspired other priests to open the school that carried his name.
With notorious concurrence and in the highest solemnity, students, teachers, parents and friends of the school, eat breakfast outdoors in the Casa de los Torreones, to celebrate the students who made their First Communion.
THE NEW CAMPUS
Proposal by the Californian architect Robert M. Farrington for the construction of the new buildings on the premises donated by don José María Samper Brush.
The architect Robert M. Farrington, mister José María Samper Brush and don Agustín study the construction plans for the new land.
THE FIRST STONE
On October 12, 1918 the foundation stone of the new school buildings was blessed. The President of the Republic, Mr. Marco Fidel Suárez, and various personalities from Bogota society attended the ceremony.
BRICKS FOR PRIMARY
Peaceful oxen bring the bricks from the “cement blocks” for the bricklayers and builders to build the halls for Elementary Teaching.
THE NEW BUILDINGS
This is how the construction of the Main Building was registered. The bricklayers work in the arches and columns that hold the grand balcony.
WALK OF THE THINKERS
Mister Ricardo Lleras Codazzi, “Papa Rico”, Mister Agustin Nieto Caballero the propeller of the idea and mister Tomas Rueda Vargas, the man who followed his calling as a teacher walk in the fields of the Gimnasio.
VIEW OF THE BUILDINGS
A view in which, once the constructions were finishes, the Main Building, the Primary Building and the first design of the Raqueta appear.
GARDENS OF THE RAQUETA
Initial design of the Raqueta seen from the dome of the Main Building.
FROM THE WEST
Final touches of the Primary Building, seen from the western part of the city. To the right, the Manual Works building.
THE NEW CAMPUS
In the month of August of 1919 the students moved from the House of Torreones to the new campus.
ELEMENTARY TEACHING BUILDING
Surrounded by meadows, the grand building that accommodated , in its current headquarters, the first Gimnasio boys and the boarding school students that lived in the school campus is shown.
Monseigneur Emilio de Brigard is appointed as school chaplain. His special charisma made him, as decades went by, the spiritual guide of the Gimnasio Moderno’s community.
CHARIOTS IN THE RAQUETA
In the vehicles of the time, the guests arrived for the wedding of the Principal, mister Erich Heincke, that was celebrated in the campus.
In the month of November, 17 students received the High School diploma from the Gimnasio Moderno for the first time.
On March 18th the flag of the Gimnasio was raised for the first time. It was created by the student Roberto Garcia Paredes, member of the class of 1922. Green symbolizes enthusiasm and orange, hope.
This post is also available in: Spanish