By Kyndale Mitchell
Woodlynde’s campus is about to undergo massive changes — including construction of an immense, sunlit cafeteria / commons, an outdoor terrace and six more classrooms — that will cost $10.8 million.
“The campus will be transformed as a result of the new construction and the renovations; the quality of life on campus will be significantly enhanced both academically and socially,” said Interim Head of School Mr. King.
Highlights of the construction project, which has already started and is scheduled to be finished at the beginning of the 2020 school year, are:
- A new and much larger cafeteria / student commons with giant glass windows to let in plenty of light. The space will also hold drama and musical performances and will contain a drop-down screen, speakers and lights.
- An outdoor terrace with metal tables and chairs where students can socialize, study and relax.
- A completely soundproofed music room.
- A new “state of the art” playground that will be built on the athletic field this summer.
- A new community room that will be used to hold meetings and classes, and will serve as the back stage when there are performances in the student commons area.
- A new faculty lounge.
- Six additional classrooms and four more offices.
- The Hughes House will be torn down. The space will be used to create a new parking lot that will accommodate 70 vehicles. The business and advancement departments will move to the school building.
When asked how the teaching staff feels about the renovation, Mr. King said, “I think people are feeling good about the enhancement to the campus.”
He went on to note that “No one is feeling good about the impact the project will have on the community prior to its completion. We only have a 12-acre campus and we don’t have some of the options that schools with a larger campus might have.”
“It’s going to be a challenge,” he said. “However, we are up to the task. I think everyone will agree that it was worth it once the campus is transformed.”
A project committee made up of board members, administrators, staff, architects, and a construction manager is meeting every other week to stay on top of all the changes.
The Board of Trustees and the Capital Campaign Committee have raised $5 million for the renovation out of the $7 million minimum fundraising goal, Mr. King said. The Capital Campaign Committee is responsible for raising the rest of the money.
Mr. King believes the new building will have a positive effect on students, saying, “I think it will boost morale, and people will be even more prideful of our school … I don’t think anyone is going to look at it and say, ‘Well that was a waste of time and money.’ ”
“It’s something that people will feel good about.”