Episcopal High School will break ground in June on two new dorms and a new state-of-the-art health and wellness center, accelerating the timeline for several capital projects that will become campus anchors and significantly enhance the Episcopal experience.
The School’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously this weekend to move forward, thanks to the transformational generosity of Episcopal’s alumni, families, and friends whose gifts and pledges bring us close to the total support needed to cover construction costs. It has been less than three years since Trustees approved the 2018 Strategic Plan
, which made these projects a key EHS priority. The new facilities are scheduled to open in August 2022 in time for the opening of the 2022-23 school year.
"In a year in which the pandemic presented daily challenges, I am inspired that so many members of our community committed to an Episcopal future that strengthens the very things that set the School apart,” said Head of School Charley Stillwell. “With the new dorms, we will reduce the number of students living on all dorms, providing a more intimate environment to build strong relationships among students and between faculty and students. The new health and wellness center will ensure that the rigor of our academic program is balanced with a focus on the physical and emotional well-being of each child."
The School will construct two new 36-bed dormitories, each with three faculty residences. Enrollment will not increase; rather, we will lower the student-to-faculty ratios in each dorm and de-densify our students’ living spaces. “Things come more naturally when you have fewer students in a dorm,” said Lucy Whittle Goldstein ’97, the dean of faculty. “It feels more like a family.”
The smaller, more intimate environment will also make possible a new residential life curriculum that focuses on values, healthy relationships, and ethical leadership. “The smaller faculty-to-student ratios will help us increase the number of the critical adult-student conversations that are a signature strength of our community,” said Assistant Head for Student Life Doug Dickson.
The new dorms will feature painted drywall, wood trim, and other finishes that will resemble what’s found in a family residence. Once finished, the School will move to modernize and refurbish existing dorms in phases.
Health and Wellness Center
The new health and wellness center will replace the McAllister Health Center, which was built in 1934 for a significantly smaller all-male student body and served for decades as an infirmary staffed by a visiting doctor and an on-call nurse. At just over 17,000 square feet, the new center will double McAllister’s size and feature comprehensive treatment and clinical work areas, classrooms for health and wellness courses, separate waiting areas for sick and well patients, four exam rooms, and dedicated space for the School’s Counseling Center.
The new space will house health and wellness services and programming that has grown in scale and sophistication in recent years as the School pioneered wellness initiatives and education about mental health and sleep hygiene, the dangers of illegal substance use and vaping, and more. EHS now has one health professional for every 35 students, the second-highest ratio among our 40 peer schools.
“The more we teach, model, and prepare students to be healthy and well in their lifestyles and daily living, the more likely they are to succeed in their academics, athletics, relationships, and social-emotional lives,” said Dr. Adrianna Bravo, EHS medical director.
Approval of the new quad follows the completion of several other capital projects that were part of the 2018 Strategic Plan. Six new faculty homes have helped the School move closer to the ultimate goal of 100% of faculty living on campus. Also, construction of a new track and field was recently completed and opened for the spring interscholastic athletics season.