After a thorough selection process, I am pleased to share with you that we have retained Centerbrook Architects of Centerbrook, CT to facilitate a consolidated master facilities planning process for Buckingham Friends School. Over the past four decades, Centerbrook has worked on many different academic campuses, completing several dozen master plans and hundreds of buildings of almost every type. Everyone on the committee was impressed with Jim Childress, the partner who will personally lead the planning effort, and Beth Hedde, the project manager who will work closely with Jim throughout the project.
It was clear to us that Jim and Beth understand BFS’s unique culture and possess the experience, skills, and talents to lead an inclusive and successful process. The experience that Centerbrook has accumulated through the years will guide us in the creation of a plan that will allow us to improve, adapt, and answer our big questions:
- what do we envision will be the solutions to our gym and arts buildings?
- how can we capitalize on this process of planning to consider and integrate architectural solutions to advance our strategic plan and goals for teaching and learning?
- how can we understand our current site and facilities conditions so that we can anticipate what we may need to contend with in the future?
- and how can we realistically estimate costs so that the Board can prioritize and phase projects in an informed manner?
Centerbrook will lead two important projects for BFS. Phase One will be to create a thorough existing conditions study. The result will be a complete assessment of our deferred and projected maintenance work and a comprehensive survey of our existing campus conditions that will tie into our financial planning for the next 5-10 years. Phase Two will be to lead the community in a thorough and inclusive process to create a Consolidated Master Facilities Plan – a blueprint of how we will improve our facilities and use our campus in the future. As a consolidated plan, the process will focus primarily on our main buildings and the areas around and between them. At this time, we do not imagine a full campus planning effort that would expand that process to include all of our forty-four acres, parking, and fields. Our goal is to complete these two phases by April.
Jim and Beth will be on campus next Wednesday and Thursday, January 15-16. The purpose of this first visit will be to engage in a first round of “information gathering” and tour the campus to obtain what architectural and other related documents that BFS currently owns. They will meet with all faculty (in division teams), members of the administration, the Board, and the Steering Committee. A schedule for both days is being created.
During their second visit to BFS, the community will be invited to participate in the process during an interactive workshop. We are eager to hear your ideas and to seek your thoughts and input regarding priorities. We will send everyone an invitation to attend this workshop once a final date has been set.
We are all the benefactors of the stewardship, vision, work, and contributions of former generations of BFS community members. It is exciting to imagine what the outcomes of our collective planning work will be. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please be in touch with me directly.
Head of School
The Master Facilities Planning Steering Committee:
- Michael Godshall, Co-Clerk, Clerk of the School Board, Physical Plant Committee member, Former BFS parent
- Paul Lindenmaier, Co-Clerk, Head of School, Physical Plant Committee member
- Robert Roop, Co-Clerk, School Board member, Clerk of the Physical Plant Committee, Former BFS parent
- Lauren Cortright, Faculty member, Former BFS parent
- Richard Cox, Faculty member
- Matthew Eaton, Current BFS parent, Physical Plant Committee member
- Doug Haigh, Director of Finance & Operations, Physical Plant Committee member, Former BFS parent
- Kara Shaw, Faculty member, Current BFS parent, Faculty representative to the School Board
- Sara Webster, Physical Plant Committee member, Former BFS parent and former School Board member
- Dann Connelly, Member of Buckingham Monthly Meeting
- JP Wasicko, Member of Buckingham Monthly Meeting, Former BFS parent