WILTON, CT – Over the past three years, the Connecticut Friends School has progressively received praise and acknowledgement for its expansion efforts. Currently at capacity for space and enrollment, the school plans to establish a new site in an ambitious endeavor known as the White Barn Campus Project. The project will move the school to a larger campus to increase facility size and expand summer and after school programs. Significantly, the move to this new property has the potential to model responsible development for projects across the nation.
The White Barn Campus, located about six miles from the school’s current site on Wilton Road, is home to a pond, wetlands, trails, and the historic White Barn Theatre. The original theatre was established by Lucille Lortel and attracted significant playwrights, directors, and actors for almost 50 years. After her death in 1999, the theatre was eventually closed and the land sold for development. CT Friends School was able to collaborate with the community in order to purchase the land from the developer, thus securing preservation of this natural habitat and historic building.
JGRA’s design of the White Barn Theatre has assisted in gathering support for the project. The design turns this historic building into spaces that can be used by the school and by the neighborhood. Douglas Lyons, Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, remarks, “As the project matches the goals of the program and, most notably, promotes a design of thoughtful innovation, responsible energy use, and a deep commitment to the environment and the beauty of the particular parcel of land, I know of no more exciting and outstanding school project. The residents of Norwalk and the state will take great pride in this project.”
The school is currently drumming up excitement for the White Barn Campus Project. Fundraising is underway, and the school has set out specific milestones in terms of design and community partnerships. CT Friends School plans to use the ecological wealth of this environment to inform proposed programs and facilities, and has already established a few courses to this effect. Further information about the White Barn Campus Project can be viewed on the Connecticut Friends School’s website under White Barn Campus.