The Gregory School campus is a notable part of the school’s charm. Its many acres boast lush soccer fields, state of the art science labs, and a series of unique spots to quietly contemplate life (the purple patio, the middle school bosque, and the riparian area to name just three). In the spirit of continuous improvement, this year The Gregory School is kicking off a wide-ranging campus improvement plan that will produce renovations big and small.
The school is rolling out a new “Share the Love” fundraising campaign, which will support major improvements to the farmyard, the senior area, the dining hall kitchen, and our athletics facilities. Funds will also be used to purchase additional fabrication lab equipment and school vans.
Director of Development Sarajane Trier has spearheaded the campaign and hopes to have webpages with online donation options available for each project on The Gregory School website in the coming weeks. The webpages will feature innovative “peer to peer” fundraising opportunities, allowing students, parents, and community members alike to share the donation pages with friends and family members on social media platforms.
So far, the project that has received the most support is the farmyard. Blueprints drafted by distinguished local Tucson architect Rob Paulus, parent to middle school student Skye Paulus, propose an aesthetically striking architectural upgrade. Already, nearly $8,000 has been raised for the construction of the new farmyard.
Originally, the impetus behind renovating the farmyard was solely the desire to house more animals. But given the age of the farmyard, erected by teachers and students when this year’s graduating class were sixth graders, during a mindfulness week in the middle school, it is time for a structural upgrade.
“It’s getting a little fatigued,” said farmyard caretaker and Latin teacher Jeff Clashman. Clashman is hopeful that the remodeled farmyard “will be amazing both for our community and for the animals,” as well as a unique selling point for the school.
Similarly, during the summer before the 2016-2017 school year, the upper school student council decided the class of 2017 needed a new and improved senior area.
As president Jaiveer Katariya said, “We think that the seniors deserve a better locker area after being here for so long, as each and every senior has made invaluable positive contributions to the school and its community that we’re all grateful for. Plus,” he added, “we’re kinda tired of having our lockers flooded every time it rains.”
Student council approached the administration with their idea, and the two joined forces. The student council has set aside $2000 for furniture, while the administration hopes to build a new, expansive shade structure with the help of funding raised through the Share the Love campaign. The new senior area will be located outside the math classrooms, facing the school’s sweeping view of the mountains.
Although not part of the Share the Love campaign, and on a smaller scale, Latin teacher and golf coach Jim Carlson is in the process of creating a small practice facility for the golf team. Since the upper school field is currently not being used for soccer or baseball, the north end of the campus provides the golf team with a valuable green space on which to conveniently practice on campus.
“The spring season for high school golf is problematic,” Coach Carlson explained, “because golf courses basically give us practice and playing time for free. In the spring though, that’s their peak season. So they’re loath to give us too much time there, which means we have to use a practice facility 25 minutes away. So we’re never back until 6:15 or 6:30, which is a long time to be off for students.” With the creation of a golf practice facility on campus, the time spent driving to off campus courses can be greatly reduced.
“My thought was that if we could spend a couple days a week practicing on campus, that would make the lives of our student athletes better,” Carlson concluded.
It is Trier’s hope that the Share the Love campaign will become a continuing vehicle for fundraising on campus, as needs for new campus projects and upgrades arise.
Like all great organizations, The Gregory School endeavors to improve continuously. Look forward to some exciting changes coming soon.
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