Dear CMS Families,
As you know, CMS launched a “Seeds of Growth” campaign in 2017, when the Board passed a 5 year plan for growth and expansion. The first two phases have been successfully implemented. In 2017, we opened a new Children’s House class and this past August, a third Casita classroom was added. Both are thriving wonderful Montessori environments and we are very proud of this accomplishment!
Now it is time for the next phase of growth and this one involves physical changes to our campus. Those of you who came to the Oak Tree Auction Gala last Spring saw the vision boards created by architect and former CMS parent Gary Wang. (They are on display in the office if you haven’t seen them yet.). In May, a Building Committee was formed and all summer they worked with Gary in putting ideas onto paper and creating a plan for our campus that we believe will serve the needs of our students into the coming decades. Now we are ready to see those plans became reality!
Our goals for this next phase of growth at CMS are three-fold:
- Construct a new building at the top of campus to house a Nido class, Administrative offices and Extended Hours space.
- Remodel our existing Gym and Extended Hours classroom to create additional classroom space.
- Renovate the current Administrative building to create more classroom space.
In addition, plans call for widening the drive, additional parking at the upper circle and some improvements to our fencing, playground, and outdoor spaces. While the primary goal in this expansion is the addition of classroom space, we believe that these improvements will strengthen security and visibility, improve traffic flow and form a more cohesive campus overall.
We are partnering with Structura, a Texas based general contractor who has worked on the Meridian school, among others. We have set the ambitious goal of moving into the new building next summer and having class space in the remodeled Gym & Extended Hours building usable for the 2019-2020 school year. As many of you know, we plan to open a 7th & 8th grade classroom next year, what in Montessori we call the Adolescent program. CMS sponsored Charlie Applegate for Adolescent AMI training last summer and we are very excited to offer this program to our students.
To accomplish all of this, we anticipate that the top portion of our campus will be closed off entirely during construction, which we hope will begin early in December. This necessitates the move of the programs currently using that space to the lower portion of campus. It will be a squeeze and a creative challenge to find space for everyone! Our plan is to move the Nido class into the current Admin building for the short term (the space formerly our conference/workroom). This will allow us to use the current Nido space (in the Blue Building) for the Children’s House nap and After school programs. The Elementary After school program will be held in the Library and, as is the current practice, will join with Children’s House for the final hour of the day. This move will take place over Thanksgiving Break, ensuring that we are ready for construction just as soon as permits are issued in December.
It is a top priority for us to ensure not only the safety of our students during this growth phase, but to ensure that everyone continue to receive the quality Montessori education they expect from our school. We have already opened discussion with our contractor regarding the safety of students & drivers on campus and strategies to minimize disruptions during the school day. As we work out details and firm up timelines, we will continue to send out information to families. There will be a page on our website for updates and progress reports will be included in each of the weekly Tuesday emails. The October Montessori Morning will be a Q&A on expansion plans and members of the CMS Board will be on hand to discuss plans and answer questions. This is will be held on October 30th right after arrivals at 8:30, in the Library. I will share notes following on expansion plans and members of the CMS Board will be on hand to discuss and answer questions. This will be held on Oct. 30th right after arrivals at 8:30, in the Library. Please RSVP on Track it Forward. I will share notes following the Q&A for those of you unable to attend.
Thank you in advance for your patience and flexibility during the next phase of our campus expansion. Growing pains aren’t always easy but they will be well worth it in the long run when we have beautiful new spaces on our campus!