McCausland Family Foundation Makes Lead Gift of $5M for Phase II of SCH’s Campus Master Plan
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH) has announced that its Board of Trustees approved plans to begin Phase II of the school’s Campus Master Plan, the centerpiece of which is a new, contemporary building for the Lower School. This building will be called the McCausland Lower School and Commons, named after the McCausland family, who provided a $5 million gift to the school via the McCausland Family Foundation.
Perched on 10 acres of SCH woods adjacent to the Wissahickon watershed, the McCausland Lower School and Commons will be designed for today’s SCH learners, who engage in independent and group activities, self-directed learning, outdoor experiences, interdisciplinary projects, and designing, building, and prototyping. The new building will house boys and girls in Pre-K through 4th grade.The Lower School learning experience will remain single-sex, with gender- and age-specific classrooms, while challenging students in a rigorous curriculum both inside and outside the classroom. Renderings of the building can be found at www.sch.org/campusmasterplan
“A new, modern building for our youngest students will further enhance their learning experience at our school,” said Steve Druggan, SCH Head of School. “This space is designed to showcase SCH’s standout educational program, one that is forward-thinking and nurturing, and will serve as the latest example of SCH’s position as a leader in educational thought and practice.”
In 2012, the Board of Trustees of SCH Academy established an ambitious and comprehensive multi-phase, multi-year redesign of the school’s 62-acre campus, including new construction, facility renovation, redistribution of the academic divisions, and improved traffic flow and parking. Phase I of the Campus Master Plan, called “Common Ground,” was completed in October 2014 and provides a unified campus with an athletic complex, significant stormwater management, and Maguire Stadium as chief accomplishments.
“Throughout the last four decades, Bonnie and Peter McCausland have been leading supporters at Springside School, Chestnut Hill Academy, and now Springside Chestnut Hill Academy,” said Richard Hayne, SCH Board Chair and Founder, URBN. “Likewise, Bonnie, Peter, and their family recognize the importance of making a commitment of this magnitude to our new Lower School, which is critical to delivering our mission. We are immensely grateful.”
The McCausland family—Peter and Bonnie, and their children Christopher and Elizabeth—enjoy a long and generous history with both Springside School and Chestnut Hill Academy and have already supported several previous capital projects, including the McCausland Dining Pavilion and the McCausland Squash Courts. Peter served on the Board of Trustees at Springside School, and Bonnie served on the Chestnut Hill Academy Board of Trustees. Both Chris and Elizabeth are “lifers” of the school, graduating in 2000 and 2002, respectively.
“It was a family decision led by my children, Chris and Lizzie, who have many fond memories of their days at CHA and Springside,” said Peter McCausland, Chairman and CEO of Airgas. “This gift is a vote of confidence in the school and its administration for the great job they do, with a sincere thank you to the people who make this community so special. It’s a wonderful community and we are happy to be able to support it.”
With the McCausland gift and other funds that have been contributed for this project, SCH has raised 90 percent of the funds needed for the $34 million capital campaign and is continuing its Phase II fundraising efforts. SCH expects to put a ceremonial shovel in the ground this spring and to open the new Lower School building to students in the fall of 2019. For more information about the Campus Master Plan, please visit www.sch.org/campusmasterplan.