Legacy is the capital campaign to provide the financial foundation for the school’s portion of the master campus plan. Through prayerful deliberations, the CDS Board of Trustees has determined that the most compelling need for our school is to provide excellent classroom spaces for all of our students in grades TK-12. Phase I of Legacy also includes the addition of a new lower school playground and 2,200 square foot fitness center.
What are the educational benefits this campus expansion project provides Covenant Day students?
For the lower school and middle school, there are significant upgrades (i.e., larger classrooms, media center, science labs, spacious hallways, identifiable academic resource center, dining hall) for the student experience as well as for the faculty. For the high school, the classroom design promotes flexible instructional environments and interdisciplinary learning; there are unique spaces for science, technology, and the arts; there are areas designed specifically for student/faculty topical discussions as well as distance learning opportunities along with student common areas which will promote community amongst our student body.
Why do we need new facilities? Why don’t we add on to the existing high school and build the middle school later?
The total enrollment at Covenant Day School currently numbers approximately 830 students. The present CDS high school building is restricted by zoning regulations to a maximum capacity of 300 students. Over the past several years, there has been substantial demand at the high school level, which has encouraged us to build a larger high school facility to match the high interest level. The configuration of the high school building would be a wonderful facility for our middle school. The CDS Board of Trustees believes that a 400-plus student body for the high school, the potential of growing our middle school with a “new” middle school facility, and providing for permanent classroom facilities for our lower school (thus retiring our modular units) is optimal for CDS.
Have tuition cost projections been prepared to factor in the impact of adding facilities as well as the associated maintenance costs for those facilities?
The CDS Business Office along with the Board of Trustees has developed a five-year strategic financial plan that takes into account modeling long range cost projections using assumptions recommended by nationally recognized school associations. These projection models include various expansions, debt, endowment and other variable scenarios. The current $14 million cost includes a $1.25 million endowment to cover the maintenance on the new facilities. The session of Christ Covenant Church has approved for Covenant Day School to borrow no more than $5 million. Our debt on the current high school building will be retired in the summer of 2016. Timing is such that if we assume debt in the summer of 2016 that is less than $4 million, our debt service that is built into tuition will not change. Anything borrowed over $4 million may have some effect on tuition dollars. Additionally, we are planning on conservative enrollment growth which will allow us to cover the increased operating costs of the new facilities.
What is the timeline for construction?
We anticipate that we will be able to occupy the facilities in June of 2016, giving us the summer to transition the schools from their current buildings to their new buildings. Students would arrive in August of 2016 and occupy their new spaces. The construction timeline is in alignment with the church’s timeline. The CDS Design and Build committee, a subcommittee of the CDS Board of Trustees, is working with Little and Associates (architect) and Edifice, LLC (general contractor) to best determine how the project will be staged for the overall campus development.
Will Christ Covenant Church be contributing to the school’s campaign and vice versa?
No. The school and church are conducting separate campaigns. We have both hired Generis as our campaign consulting firm, Little and Associates as our architect, and Edifice, LLC as our general contractor. CDS has a separate contract with each of these vendors. Hiring the same vendors has provided great cross communication with the master plan as well as allowed us to take advantage of economies of scale. We have separate campaign committees and separate design/build committees. However, the working relationship between the committees and staff is unified in helping each of us to achieve our goals.
Is the fine arts program impacted by Legacy?
With the additional growth in the school, we will be able to enhance, grow, and develop our fine arts offerings due to the additional students. The visual arts department will receive an upgrade with two visual arts classrooms, a pottery classroom, a kiln, and an outdoor drawing space. The addition to the Harbor will provide improvement for set preparation and stage access for our dramatic arts productions. In a future phase, the plan is to build a high school worship and performing arts center which will seat approximately 500 people for chapels and various performances. There will also be classrooms for choir, band, and orchestra as well as office space for performing arts teachers.
What would the facility changes mean for enrollment numbers?
Our lower school numbers would stay similar to what they are today. The middle school, which is showing a need for additional instructional space, will have this need met in the current high school building. Currently, our middle school is around 200 students. We will have the potential to expand to 300 students. This is an optimal growth at that level to feed into a high school of 450 students, which the new high school building will allow us to achieve. Overall growth to 1,100 students will allow us to fill out our programs including AP courses, fine arts courses, and athletic programs while maintaining our unique sense of family in the Covenant Day community.
How will you manage a larger size student body without impacting the current CDS culture?
By staying true to the mission of the school. This mission was set 25 years ago and to this day we have not wavered from being Christ-centered first and foremost. Our relationship as a ministry of Christ Covenant Church will keep us focused on our mission statement today and in the future. Maintaining our current admission standards, student-teacher ratios, and carefully managing the growth rate will allow us to grow the school without losing our CDS culture.
Will we have a full service cafeteria?
There are no plans for a commercial-grade kitchen in this phase. There are plans for a dining hall for the lower school students in the current Fireplace Room. The current high school has various areas within the interior and exterior that will accommodate our current lunch offerings for middle school students and the new high school will allow for dining in the commons area.
Are gifts to the Legacy Campaign charitable contributions?
Yes. Covenant Day School is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Head of School: Mark Davis
Director of Development: Janet Grimmer-Kempf
Director of Marketing and Communications: Megan Fair
Campaign Chairs: Mary Ruth and Rennie Faulkner
Grandparent Chairs: Robi and Joe Rego
Alumni Parent Chairs: Laurie and Doug Steele
Campaign Prayer Coordinator: Peggy Hawks
Lower School Chairs: Peggy and Danny Church
Middle School Chairs: Marianne and Patrick Keaton
High School Chairs: Millie and Berry Allison
Faculty and Staff Chair: Mark Helmer
TK Grade Captain: Jennifer Kincheloe
Kindergarten Grade Captains: Claire Jordan and Dorie Neil
First Grade Captains: Kristin Gallinek and Jennifer Gunn
Second Grade Captains: Erica Crumpler and Elizabeth Bowman
Third Grade Captains: Leah Collins, Mary Goodloe Tucker, Kim Vonder
Fourth Grade Captains: Jill Boyce, Anne Rogers
Fifth Grade Captain: Sue Hiller
Sixth Grade Captains: Ginny Knight, Jenny Culpepper
Seventh Grade Captains: Barbara Ardizzone, Kennie Protasewich
Eight Grade Captains: Kim Lawson, Lynda Snider
Ninth Grade Captains: Barbara Chase, Linda Sittema, Wendy Birchfield
Tenth Grade Captains: Karen Cauthen, Jerri Webb, Beth Wray
Eleventh Grade Captains: Lou Crouch, Mary Ruth Faulkner
Twelfth Grade Captains: Millie Allison, Laura Ormond