Exciting news about the Lower School

Exciting news about the Lower School

Dear Friends, 

We are excited to share news of the upcoming renovation of the Lower School buildings (East and West) and the Lower School playground.  

The Board of Trustees adopted a Campus Master Plan in 2022, which outlines several pathways for Friends School to maintain a student-centered learning environment today and far into the future. The Lower School, which is home to some of our youngest learners, is pivotal to the plan.  

As we embarked upon the design process for the Lower School buildings and playground, the Board, administrators, and other key stakeholders kept these values in mind:

  • The 3 A’s. Indoor and outdoor classrooms and program spaces will support our inquiry-based teaching model across the 3 A’s - Academics, Arts, and Athletics. Furnishings such as tables/desks, seating, and storage will be flexible to accommodate independent, collaborative, and experiential learning, which is balanced with direct instruction every day. The playground will spark imagination and curiosity and offer a wide range of experiences appropriate for the social, physical, and cognitive needs of our youngest students.    

  • Stewardship. We will uphold the Quaker value of stewardship, which compels us to honor the gifts that have been given to us and our role as caretakers of our environment. The original building, a beautiful and historic 1928 Tudor Revival, was gifted to us by Stony Run Meeting in 1973 and has served us well for nearly 100 years. While preserving its beauty, we will update it for sustainability, improving its quality, efficiency, and safety with new mechanical, electrical, plumbing, sprinkler, and security systems, as well as new doors, windows, and lighting.

  • Inclusion. Upon completion, both Lower School buildings and the playground will welcome and support students with a range of physical abilities. We will be adding state-of-the-art accessibility features, such as an elevator, a platform lift, enhanced accessibility routes, and updated restrooms on the first through third floors. Similarly, outdoor playspaces and paths will be modified to uphold inclusivity. 

We are very pleased to work with the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company on the project, as they have broad experience in school construction projects, both historic and new builds. Some renovation work will take place over spring break, but the lion’s share will happen over the summer and be completed by the opening of the 2024-25 school year.    

As this project unfolds, we will keep you informed about changes that may occur to regular logistics and our plans to accommodate the constituencies that will be affected by the construction work. Our goal is to have as few disruptions as possible. 

We are grateful for your continued support as we embark on these projects that will undoubtedly elevate the Friends School experience. Together, we are shaping a future that aligns with our values and reimagines the Lower School for generations to come. 

In partnership, 

Christian Donovan

Head of School 

Lester Davis P'28, '28, '30

Clerk, Board of Trustees