I am writing with exciting news of plans for new and updated facilities in some of our most loved (and used) spaces around the school.
First, in just a matter of days (10 or so), a new play space for our 3-year-old, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students will be open and ready to go! It will have elements not seen in many playgrounds -- including a creek bed water feature supplied by a kid-powered pump -- that encourage safe play in the natural world. There will be wooden huts, balance bikes, a climbing boat and many other items to spark imagination and active learning. This wonderful space is located just beyond the bus circle, so be sure to stop by and take a look!
In addition, the school has decided to renovate and update the Schoedinger Theatre. The theater will be getting a balcony to increase overall seating capacity to around 550 (about 100 more seats), all new seats throughout, and improved lighting and sound, complete with acoustical panels. All of these additions will provide the kind of professional aesthetic and auditory experience our students of all ages deserve while maintaining the intimacy desired by our performing arts faculty. The renovation begins right after the spring musical in mid-April and should be completed by mid-September of 2019.
Just a few weeks ago, the Board of Trustees approved a comprehensive project to improve our athletic facilities. Starting this winter, work will begin to create three new locker rooms (we have had too few team rooms for over 15 years), renovate existing locker rooms and expand the current weight room area to include a comprehensive training space for physical therapy and wellness, including an up-to-date weight facility with aerobic equipment, stretching and weight racks. Just to the north of the Mackenzie Gymnasium, we will be breaking ground for a 23,000-square-foot, all-purpose fieldhouse that will provide enough space for our expanding middle and upper school teams as well as better facilities for our youngest physical education students. Additionally, our PE teachers and varsity coaches will have offices and a conference room where they can meet with parents, captains, players and college representatives recruiting our student-athletes.
Columbus Academy is fortunate to be in a strong financial position and can accomplish these objectives through generous donors who have stepped forward with substantial philanthropic gifts to provide significant funding and support of these projects. For those of you who are wondering how they can help, please remember that the Annual Fund is the very best way to help the school achieve its goals of providing your children excellent ways to learn and play.
In the coming days, we will issue an official press release containing graphics and more details about these spaces.
Please know that with these projects, we are not seeking a lavish environment for children (anyone who has stepped foot in our locker rooms knows that!). Instead, we want to offer our faculty and staff the space and facilities required to guide students to become the best they can be by developing their interests and talents.