Big News Times Two!

Big News Times Two!
Suzanne Morrissey

Brewster is beaming about two announcements this week that showcase the passion our community has for the school’s vision and mission. 

First, at a recent special meeting of the Board of Trustees, we received unanimous approval to move forward with Phase 1 of the Reimagine Rogers project. For those of you new to Brewster, we are renovating the existing Rogers Building, which has served us well for decades, into a vibrant student center and modern, specialized home for arts and innovation. This will be one of the most impactful projects the school will undertake for decades to come, allowing us to expand our offerings, attract a greater range of students, and serve our vision: an approach to education with the exponential power to transform education, communities, and the lives of students in our care.  

The pandemic initially put a dent in our plan to break ground on the Reimagine Rogers project, but by separating the work into two phases and being nimble with planning, a way forward has been revealed. This exciting news is possible due to the generosity of donors who, over the past two and a half years,  earmarked their gifts for this important piece of Brewster’s future. Special gratitude goes to the family of Peter Grayson (Bradley ’14), past parent and Trustee, and their lead gift through the Fund for Individual Potential. The support this project has generated through gifts of all sizes speaks to the devotion donors have to Brewster, and the impact they see the new space will have on our campus and programs. 

Here are a few exciting details about the Rogers project, and you can always find more on the Reimagine Rogers web page, including beautiful architect’s illustrations!

  • Phase 1 will be the renovation of the existing Rogers building’s main space. This will include a cafe, student center, flexible learning classrooms, meeting rooms, recreation areas, and a new mezzanine level with a blackbox theater and dance studio. 
  • Phase 2, which will await future fundraising, will include the lower level and the new plinth addition that will create more classroom space for the fine arts, robotics, and music, along with the outdoor lake-view terrace. 
  • Since sources of funding for this project are donor-restricted, completing this project during this complicated time is wholly separate from our operating budget. (In fact, once completed, the renovated building will yield operational savings for us through its increased energy efficiency.) 
  • Barring any unforeseen hurdles, we hope to break ground on Phase 1 in September 2020 and we anticipate that work will be completed seven to nine months after groundbreaking.
  • We are excited that students will be able to use the completed Phase 1 spaces by the start of the 2021-22 school year. 
  • Classes and activities that currently take place in Rogers will be moved to the Arts Cottage, Anderson Hall, and the Academic Building. 

The second reason to celebrate this week is big news from Brewster’s Advancement team as the fiscal year came to a close June 30. Associate Head of School Kristy Kerin said it best in her recent message to donors: “With deep gratitude and celebration, we want to say thank you to all who helped us surpass this year's Fund for Brewster goal. The Fund for Brewster (our annual fund) provides critical operational support for the school, allowing us to make investments in our people, campus, and programs on an annual basis. This year, we are doubly grateful for the generosity and loyalty of our parents, grandparents, alumni, trustees, and friends.” 

That added layer of gratitude is truly sincere—as we balance the revenue lost from the cancellation of our summer programs and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for our students and families (and plan for the unknowns of the year ahead), Fund for Brewster support is vital. We are moved that Brewster’s supporters are fully behind all that we do at Brewster to provide a highly individualized experience for all students. 

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