We are embarking on a new building project, with plans to add four classrooms and a gymnasium.
Completing the vision of FSP
Have you ever heard of Dunbar's Number, also called the Rule of 150?
Anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar posited that 150 is the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships--relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person.
It also happens to be the number of students FSP will have once every double grade after Kindergarten has expanded to two sections.
We were told by many that if we built the new school, students would come. And it has proven true! We've generated a lot of interest, as evidenced by inquiries, well-attended admissions events, and visits by curious families.
What we weren't expecting was that more students would stay. Specifically, more preschoolers have gone on to our Kindergarten, and more Kindergartners have gone on to FSP's primary grades. Several months into our first year in the new building, we realized it was likely we'd need to add a second section of grade 1-2-in fact, after our first year here, 100% of the K class enrolled in the first grade! And it wasn't long before it was clear that two years later, that enthusiastic group of learners would require a second section of grade 3-4.
You can see where this is headed.
Knowing that a second section of grade 5-6 youngsters is coming down the pipeline, and given that we now have deployed the last existing classroom, we have taken up the glorious challenge of planning for a middle school wing, to open in September 2020. Four simple classrooms, built to Passive House standards, will join the existing ones upstairs, with a glassed-in room connecting old and new classrooms (goodbye, long outdoor bridge).
In 2022, a second section of grade 7-8 will complete this thoughtful growth. Imagine the opportunity to send twice as many amazing Friends School graduates out into the world!
And there's even more exciting news: The Building Committee, Kaplan Thompson Architects, and Warren Construction Group have undertaken not only the design of the classroom wing, but also a Community Hall that will serve as performance space and a gymnasium and will allow us to gather as a school community to play, perform, and appreciate as an audience. We'll also be adding more parking spaces, simply because we have to.
Our first priority, however, must be the middle school wing. We've formed a committee to secure the funds for this addition, and the effort to raise the required $2.3 million is quietly underway. Once we have this in hand, we can turn to the $1.1 million Community Hall. (Wouldn't it be great to be able to do both at once? We'll see how the fundraising goes.)
We hope you'll ask us more about how, together, we can complete this vision. There's so much to dream about and to do, and our remarkable success comes from the faith and efforts of so many in the FSP community.
We will keep you posted; count on that!