Three Leadership Gifts Advance St. Paul's School Strategic Initiatives

Sarah Aldag
"By providing inspirational spaces in which our faculty and students teach and learn, we are better able to fulfill our School's mission."
St. Paul’s School has received three leadership gifts, among several significant commitments, totaling nearly $10 million for improvements to several buildings located on the campus. The projects support the School’s strategic vision, calling for innovation in teaching and learning, a community center that brings students and faculty and numerous activities together in a common meeting space, and revitalizing and relocating gallery and studio spaces to the academic quad.
“We are indebted to these families who have provided such critical support for St. Paul’s School,” said Rector Mike Hirschfeld. “By providing inspirational spaces in which our faculty and students teach and learn, we are better able to fulfill our School’s mission.” An anonymous $3 million gift will support the creation of a new community center to be located in the Hargate building. Envisioned as a common room for the entire School community with a café, lounge area, terrace, and ample project space for the School’s more than 60 student clubs, the Community Center will become the go-to destination for community members to congregate for everything from events, dances, and college fairs to informal meetings. The $3 million gift comes to St. Paul’s in the form of a challenge grant, and will be distributed on the condition that the School raises the remaining funds for the project. To date, approximately half of that challenge has been met.
Another gift, totaling $2.7 million, will pave the way for the School’s new center for innovative teaching to be located in Ohrstrom Library. The center will serve as a nexus for faculty to develop new teaching methods, using two laboratories equipped with state-of-the art technology within flexible, multi-purpose spaces. Part of the School’s strategic plan initiative, the center will place St. Paul’s in a leadership position to transform secondary education in the 21st century.
“The only thing I know about the world is that the one our students will inhabit will be very different than the one we know today” said Lawrence Smith, dean of curriculum and teaching. “We must educate our students for that world. We will be making new information and practices available and eventually widespread among our faculty so we can create the best possible learning environment for our students.”
Launching the move of the visual arts to the academic quad, Anne and Jim Crumpacker and their children, Cate ’94 and Jimmy ’98, have made a lead gift to move the SPS art gallery into a re-envisioned, renovated space currently occupied by the Freeman Center/Tuck Shop. In addition to better public access, the Crumpacker family building will provide exciting exhibit space to host shows by visiting artists who work actively with SPS students. The gift will help create long-needed, climate-controlled storage space for the School’s teaching collection, as well as additional academic space for the arts.
The visual art studios will move to an expanded, upgraded space in Moore, the former math building. The new studio location will provide proximity to nearby facilities, including the woodshop and 3-D printer located in the Lindsay Center for Mathematics and Science. Ultimately, an arts walk will connect the School’s visual arts, theatre, dance, and music programs within the academic quad.
The community center and the art spaces are currently in the design phase. Construction on the center for innovative teaching began in July 2015.