What’s wrong with renting the church space?
The church space, built in 1953, does not offer a high school regulation-sized basketball or volleyball court, so our school cannot host tournaments or games. Also, the space does not allow for two athletic teams to practice at the same time. While all MMS teams have practice slots, none of them receive the optimal numbers of hours to practice. Additionally, not owning the attached multi-purpose space limits our ability to craft a schedule and update the space to accommodate the growth and changing needs of our student program.
Why are we building now?
MMS students love athletics, and fully 78% of our students in grades three and up play a sport at MMS during the school year. Right now, they must play in the rented church gymnasium, and their practices are limited in length and frequency to accommodate the church. With as many as five teams per season, we do not have enough gym time at the church each week to accommodate all of the student teams.
How do we know if we have sufficient support to build a Field House?
In the summer of 2014, we hired a local consulting firm to complete a feasibility study to determine if there was interest among our parents to build a multi-purpose Field House. We learned that parents of older students were interested in having a consistent place for their children to participate in after-school athletics. The prospect that our school could host tournaments and games was especially welcome to parents, as MMS teams play away games every single weekend, requiring a great deal of drive time. Parents of younger students were interested in having a concert space where the acoustics were professional, and student visibility was possible for audience members. They were equally enthusiastic about expanded curricular offerings such as ballet and martial arts classes.
My child is too young to play on sports teams - How will the new Field House positively impact her school day?
Having a new multi-purpose field house gives us the flexibility to host full-group learning presentations and provide children with performance space where they can actually see their parents in the audience, perform a classroom play, enjoy a professional theater group, or even have group lessons in martial arts, ballet, or chamber orchestra. Most importantly, having our own space frees us from the many constraints imposed by the church, meaning that children will be able to enjoy recess and physical activity every day.
How else will students benefit?
A new Field House that serves as a multi-purpose space allows our school and students to host events in a wider metropolitan area. Specifically, in team athletics, we will be able to host home basketball and volleyball games, something we have never enjoyed as a community. We can also host other schools in robotics challenges, science fairs, spelling bees, and even have curated art exhibits in the lobby. Our school has so very much to offer, and this space will allow our students to host others and share the gifts of MMS with them.
I pay tuition. Doesn’t that cover the cost of a new building?
Fundraising and donor sponsorship are part of every independent school. These are the funds that cover the gap between the revenue brought in by tuition, and the special programs and facilities we offer and create. Tuition covers the high-quality curricular offerings that create our students’ overall achievement and readiness for higher education. Capital building projects, however, cannot be folded into the annual budget.
How much does the new building cost and how will MMS maintain these facilities?
Construction and infrastructure of our new multi-purpose Field House will cost $3.5 million dollars. We anticipate generating income for the building’s maintenance from rentals in the evenings and summers.
What will happen to the Covered Play area?
The DOT’s easements restrict the placement and size of our new building, and we want to take up as little outdoor land space as possible. To accomplish this, we are placing the building at the south end of the property where the Covered Play Area currently sits. The wood and the steel from the Covered Play Area, itself an architectural beauty, will be reused in the construction of the Field House.