Bishop Seabury Academy has met its 2012 Stepping-Up Capital campaign in record time.
“We had a donor who put up a $350,000 challenge grant that we happily met ... in six weeks time,” said Don Schawang, school director.
“What is so astounding is how many members stepped up,” said Margie Lawrence, director of development. “Corporations contributed to the campaign and even some of the kids.”
The 15-year-old school has seen a steady increase in its school population since 2007, and last year it reached a record 170 students due, in part, to the addition of a sixth-grade class.
“They are a spirited group,” Lawrence said, “and the integration went very well.”
While the overall experience was positive, it hasn’t been without growing pains.
“We have always had one lunch period,” Lawrence said. “It’s a real community time where kids from the upper and lower school sit together and get to know one another, but we were at a point when we had to seriously consider splitting up the lunches.”
“The kids did not like that idea,” Lawrence said. “They wanted to stay together.”
This most recent capital campaign has allowed that to happen, and construction is beginning to expand the commons area, enlarge the kitchen area and faculty work space, and double the size of the parking lot. In addition, there will be a safe room designed to withstand an EF5 tornado, locker rooms and a storage area.
This is not the first capital drive for the school.
In August 2002, after a $2.7 million campaign, the school’s board of trustees purchased the land and building at its current site, 4120 Clinton Parkway. In 2006, a $1.5 million campaign was launched to raise money for construction of a building for the fine arts and foreign language departments, and in 2008, Reese Hall opened. Last year, two portable classrooms were placed on the western edge of the campus.