The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA
Fay Magazine: Summer 2020

Thank You, Bill Picardi!

When Bill Picardi P ’92 became a Fay parent in the fall of 1983, he had no idea that it would be the start of a relationship that would last for 37 years...and counting.
“When my wife said that she wanted our son (Preston Picardi ’92) to go to a private school, I wasn’t sure. That’s just not where we come from!” says Bill. He recalls hearing people talk about the “Fay family” and that he didn’t give it much credence. But there’s no doubt that the relationships that his family built at Fay have stood the test of time. When Preston graduated from Fay there were 8 “niners” in his class. “There’s at least three of them at every wedding we go to!” says Bill, and there’s a group of ten moms from the class who still get together every month. “You can’t write that into a script,” says Bill. “Fay just sucked us in and wouldn’t let us go.”

The mid-1980s were a period of physical transformation on the Fay campus. As owner of Picardi Construction, Bill quickly became involved in the School’s campus construction plans. Early projects included a new play structure with a large wooden biplane for students to clamber over. With the demolition of the Old Main Building in 1986, Fay was in need of a new art center, and Bill was instrumental in coordinating the process and soliciting donations, and his company handled the construction. When the art center opened in 1987, it was dedicated to the Picardi family “in grateful appreciation for the time, effort, and money they had given to ensure the completion of the Center.”

Bill joined the Board of Trustees in 1999 and was appointed to chair the board’s Facilities Committee in 2002, with Harvey Steinberg GP ’02, ’05, ’14, ’15 as his co-chair. At the end of this school year, Bill is stepping down from that role after eighteen years that saw the beautification, renovation, and expansion of the Fay campus. During his tenure, he oversaw the purchase of Kidder House, 74 Main Street, and 76 Main Street for faculty housing; the purchase and renovation of West House for a girls dorm; the construction of the LEED- certified Village Dorms and the Wellness Center; the creation of a new ceremonial entrance to the Fay campus; the addition of the 30-acre Fay athletic campus; the construction of the wastewater treatment and facilities buildings; and the construc- tion of the new Primary School Building.

While he is proud of the projects that were completed, it’s the partnerships and relationships that Bill formed along the way that he credits as the keys to success. From the facilities staff and school leadership to the trustees, “everyone has always had the same interest, which is to do the best that they can for the kids,” he notes. “I always considered what I would expect if I were building this for myself, and why would I give anyone anything less?”

The reward for that level of care and attention to detail comes in seeing the impact on the students and faculty who live, work, and learn in the spaces that he has helped to create. The most recent project to renovate West House hit a roadblock when the contractor came back with a bid of twice the approved budget. The Facilities Committee stepped in and drew up a new set of plans, and Bill teamed up with committee member Brendon Giblin ’92 P’21, ’25, ’28 to bring the project in under budget. When they hosted an Open House in the newly- finished dorm for students and faculty, Bill recalls that one of the dorm parents broke down and cried over the new space. In 2017, Bill attended the 30-year anniversary of the opening of the Picardi Art Center and was moved to read the quotes and memories shared by students and alumni who had spent time in that space over the years.

While Bill is stepping down from his role as chair of the Facilities Committee, he will remain on the Board of Trustees and has a hard time envisioning a point when Fay won’t be a part of his life. “If I wasn’t involved in Fay School, I would still be thinking about it!” 

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