ATHLETICS AND WELLNESS CENTRE CAMPUS EXPANSION
Dear Aberdeen Hall Community Members,
In the last eight months we have implemented rigorous safety plans, added high quality online learning opportunities in the event that we needed to learn from home again, and touched base with many of you to see how we can best support you in this challenging time.
With these priorities solidly in place we have turned some of our attention back to the continued future growth of our school. Although it is hard to imagine 2023, we will get there, and we wish for our community’s future to be as bright as possible. Your Board of Directors and Fundraising Cabinet have met and approved the re-start of the Athletics and Wellness Centre project with an appropriately modified timeline and plan.
We acknowledge that in these unique times, for some families it may be difficult to make growth and fundraising a priority and we respect that very much. However many families that we have talked with have encouraged us to proceed and to keep moving the school forward. We are so fortunate to have our wonderful Aberdeen Hall community and we thank these optimistic and dedicated families for leading the way.
Background and Details
In 2018 when we updated our Strategic Plan, our parents and other community members voiced their hope that a permanent gymnasium would be included in the next phase of the campus plan. Last fall we began to make the hope a reality by finalizing the plans and commencing with a fundraising campaign. We raised 2.8 million dollars in donations and pledges and selected our architect and construction partner.
In March, we paused both our campaign and construction plans to best allow our community and the school time to focus on safely navigating the pandemic and learning how it would impact our families. We placed all gifts received in a restricted account to be used for this project.
We recognize that some of our future is uncertain. The goal is to start construction in June 2022 (18 months from now) and open the building for student use in September 2023 (32 months from now). We will of course proceed in a manner that gives us the ability to re-evaluate our commitments and obligations every 6 months during the next 1.5 years.
A school’s gym can be the ‘heart’ of its community, we know that well and believe that it will be an even more important next step for our school than before. It will provide an important gathering place for all 800 students and staff to assemble and will be so vital as we recover from the impact of this pandemic. It will rebuild the community around our athletics and performing arts programs by providing an ideal venue for games and shows alike.
One of the ways we can make Phase 6 a reality sooner rather than later is by moving the location of it. We are researching the viability of moving the Athletics Centre to the other side of the Senior School. We believe that this consideration has numerous benefits, including significant savings in construction costs, providing greater flexibility when landscaping the Outdoor Centre Student Commons, and considerably less disruption to our students during the 14 months of construction.
Phase 6 is a project that will benefit our whole community, and we can’t wait to bring the Athletics and Wellness Centre to life! We are grateful for an active and contributing community who have supported our campus expansion thus far and look forward to sharing our Annual Appeal and funding priorities with you.
In the next little while you will be receiving additional information on how you can participate in this exciting project. In the meantime stay healthy and as always, I welcome your feedback.
Head of School