The Lake Champlain Waldorf School Launches Major Capital Campaign

October 22, 2013

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The Lake Champlain Waldorf School has announced the public launch of a transformative capital campaign to raise $2,300,000. The effort, called The Time Is Now, is the largest campaign in the school’s 30-year history. The campaign will raise money to help fund two significant projects: the purchase and renovation of the former Morgan Horse Museum on Bostwick Road to become the new high school campus; and building a new gym and performance space at the kindergarten and grade school campus. Alumni, parents, grandparents, faculty and friends of the school kicked-off the campaign on October 12, at the site of the future high school.

Campaign Co-Chair Maureen Wheeler reports that in the past year $1.8 million has already been raised through generous leadership contributions. The total raised includes the largest single gift in our school’s history; an anonymous donation of $650,000.

“We also now have an historic $200,000 challenge from a group of alumni, grandparents, parents and the Board of Trustees–we call them the Four Pillars of the School,” explains Development Director Lisa Espenshade. “When we raise an additional $300,000 from the community, this generous group will award the $200,000.”

“Our campaign’s tremendous progress to date is a reflection of the deep commitment and passion to this education that lives in the community,” said Wheeler. “I want to express deep appreciation for the great number of community members who have donated time and resources to the campaign thus far and those who will now join in as we advance the growth of the Lake Champlain Waldorf School,” added Campaign Co-chair, Trina Webster.

The campaign is a result of the school’s programmatic growth and success. “We are bursting at the seams,” explains Board President Josh Simonds. “We have outgrown our high school, our grade school needs more room for gym and other subject programs, and we need our early childhood, grade school and high school to all be located near each other, in Shelburne.” The high school, entering its thirteenth year, is currently located on Ferry Road in Charlotte.

Thanks to the dedication of a group of parents and grandparents, the school was able to purchase the landmark Morgan Horse property located at the top of Bostwick Road (a favorite spot for tourists to photograph the magnificent views of the Adirondacks), and is now finishing up raising money for the substantial renovation that will turn it into a high school. Nestled in meadows and surrounding woods, with more than twice the space of their current high school, the three-acre property in the Shelburne Museum District will accommodate more than 100 students and will provide the school with room to meet their growing enrollment demands. It is on a public transportation bus line, and is a walking or biking commute from the grade school and early childhood campus.

Community members marveled at the building’s beauty and serene setting. “It will be one of the most beautiful high schools in the state,” exclaimed high school alumni parent Sharon Richards.

The kick-off was an opportunity to mark this historic initiative, which will transform both the high school and the grade school of this unique, independent school. Honorary Campaign Co-Chair Lynette Raap (Will and Lynette Raap started Gardener’s Supply) talked about her long history as one of the founding families in the school.  She said “It is an honor to stand with you all; the next generation, in the name and support of young children, adolescents and thoughtful citizens of an evolving world. Providing students the continuity of a Waldorf education in an exceptional facility will make a difference in ways none of us can imagine.”

Wheeler emphasized, “The Lake Champlain Waldorf School’s commitment to invest in larger and updated facilities will support the faculty as they encourage our students to enter the world confident, compassionate and wise, through our hub of education, music and culture.”

The renovation of the Morgan Horse Museum is scheduled to begin in 2014 and will include, along with academic classrooms, a multi-use community room, a student Common Room, with gorgeous views of the Adirondacks, a light-filled fine art studio (named for Vermont artists Alden and Mary Bryan), woodworking, handwork and metal-smithing rooms, a professional kitchen for the hot lunch program that features local and organic food, a library, and a science lab dedicated to phenomenological-based science. The renovation of the grade school Community Room will double the size of the audience space and include dedicated arts and athletic space.

About Lake Champlain Waldorf School

Founded in 1984, the Lake Champlain Waldorf School, located currently in Shelburne and Charlotte, is Vermont’s largest independent, coeducational day school for preschool through high school students. Offering an intellectually rigorous and artistically rich curriculum, the school has over 265 students and also offers an infant and toddler program, after school programs, Camp at Turtle Lane summer camp, and after-school sports. The school is approved as an Independent School by the State of Vermont and is a full member of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.