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The Shipley School Announces $5 Million Gift from the West Family - largest donation in School's history

Rendering of The Shipley School’s new Multi-Media Library and Academic Resource Center
Rendering of The Shipley School’s new Multi-Media Library and Academic Resource Center

The Shipley School is pleased to announce an extraordinary gift of $5 million from the West Family (Al, Loralee, Paige ’86, Al III ’89, and Palmer ’92), contributed as part of The Campaign for Shipley: Foundations for Success. The gift is the largest received by the School in its 120-year history. Combined with significant support from other generous donors, it enables Shipley to launch the second phase of its upper campus transformation, which will require a total of $19 million in philanthropic support.

At a recent meeting, the Shipley Board of Trustees enthusiastically voted to commence construction in June 2014 of the first piece of the sequenced project, a 26,000 square-foot LEED-Certified Student Commons and Arts Center on Montgomery Avenue, which will complete the upper campus quadrangle. The building will include an intimate and flexible performance venue, visual and performing arts classrooms, music studios, rehearsal spaces, student gathering areas, and a new dining facility. It is expected to open in September 2015. MGA Partners is serving as the architect, and W.S. Cumby is the general contractor.

Completion of the Student Commons and Arts Center will enable construction to begin on the next element of the project, a Multi-Media Library and Academic Resource Center. This space, in the School’s Main Building on Yarrow Street, will be designed to support and maximize interdisciplinary learning and differentiated instruction, and it will feature electronic research, multi-media, and writing centers. Significant classroom renovations in the same building will follow.

These construction projects have been made possible by substantial infrastructural improvements, which were part of the first phase of the School’s upper campus master plan: purchase and razing of Thornbrook Manor apartment building, renovation of two five-sport artificial turf fields, creation of a new campus entrance, and construction of six new tennis courts atop an 88-space parking garage and physical plant facility.

Head of School Dr. Steve Piltch said about the recent gifts and Board decision to move ahead with construction, “Academic excellence, love of learning, and compassionate participation in the world are at the core of the School’s mission. Significant contributions to our endowment in the past six years have helped ensure our financial security as we move forward with capital improvements, all with the goal of enhancing the educational experience for our students. Thanks to the West family, other generous donors, and the leadership of our Board of Trustees, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to improve our facilities to match the extraordinary work that goes on inside them. I am incredibly excited about this project and couldn’t be more optimistic about Shipley’s future.”

For more information about The Shipley School, visitwww.shipleyschool.org

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