Improving our physical spaces goes hand in hand with creating learning environments which help us to maximize student learning. Improvement can mean a simple upgrade to an existing space, or an innovative redesign that creates a space that allows us to take better advantage of research and thinking about teaching, learning and how the brain works. We have a number of exciting projects on tap for 2014-15.
Through a generous donation from the Edelman family we are able this year to engage in a focused facilities planning process with the Claris Company. As a part of the process, community members will be invited to engage in focus group work designed to help us shape our capital improvement plan to fit our core tenets and future goals as a school. Our work with Claris will be beginning in February of 2014.
Starting with the publishing of the Wooster Strength to Strength Plan for 2014-15, we will be embarking on an aggressive, short-term capital campaign to raise funds to finish the renovation of the Coburn Building. Our plan for the Dining Room calls for a complete makeover to include the transformation of the Annex into a café area that can be used as a gathering place for Upper School students, parent meetings, and coffee house events. We also plan to reclaim the basement as useable learning spaces. Details about our capital campaign to support this exciting work will be provided shortly. Our goal is to raise the capital necessary to begin this project by the end of the 2013-14 school year.
Thanks to a very generous lead gift from the Edelman family, and additional support from the Unger family, we have the capital in place to transform the existing Student Center into a state-of-the-art Makerspace for use by our students Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade. See our earlier description of the power of ideation and “making” in developing students thinking, design, and production skills and visit these links (http://www.makered.org; http://www.inventtolearn.com) for a more comprehensive look at the power of making. Wooster will be the first school in the region to establish a Makerspace of this kind on its campus.