St. Mark’s has received a $5 million challenge grant from an anonymous foundation to fund substantial renovations to the School’s historic Main Building as part of its Strategic Plan 2020. These renovations will include space for housing the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning.
The Center is the cornerstone initiative of the first comprehensive Strategic Plan in the School’s history. St. Mark’s 2020 defines a bold and compelling vision for the fulfillment of St. Mark’s mission in the coming decade and beyond, and was unanimously approved by St. Mark’s Board of Trustees last fall.
Located at the heart of the 122-year-old Main Building, the Center will continue in the tradition of that space: the home of the St. Mark’s Schoolroom for many years and more recently of the Forbes Center, both places where students and faculty would connect regularly during the course of a school day. The Center will identify, adapt, and introduce new educational approaches, support faculty development, and provide enrichment and academic support for students. The other core Initiatives in St. Mark’s 2020 are STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-and-Mathematics) and the Global Citizenship Initiative
“This incredibly generous grant is the ultimate vote of confidence in St. Mark’s 2020 and our plans to make our beautiful Main Building a first class space for living and learning,” said Head of School John Warren ’74.
The most extensive renovation project in the history of the School’s main building began this summer. The St. Mark’s “School Under One Roof” model, established at its founding in 1865 and made fully possible by the Main Building when it was first occupied in 1890, is a critical component of an impactful St. Mark’s education. The speed and depth of relationships formed among students and with their teachers are enhanced by the proximity of spaces for living and learning in community. As St. Mark’s prepares the Main Building to house the updated educational program defined in St. Mark’s 2020 some spaces will be enlarged, others will no longer be necessary, and still more will be created. The exterior will not change substantially, but the interior will become a model for residential school buildings today, just as it was when it was first built.
“St. Mark’s 2020 is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the School,” commented Executive Director of Development Kirk Swenson. “This grant will inspire the generosity of other loyal St. Markers who wish to see the School serve as a beacon of educational innovation. With committed philanthropic partners, St. Mark’s will fulfill the vision laid out by St. Mark’s 2020 and create an institution that fully lives up to the promise of Age Quod Agis in the 21st Century and beyond.”