Dear Rivers Families,
I am truly amazed at the ongoing generosity and forward-thinking nature of our Rivers community. In the months since the kickoff of our FutureMakers campaign, our community has contributed more than $11 million! We have now raised more than $47 million toward our original goal of $50 million, and we still have two more years in our campaign timeline. With this tremendous momentum, our Board of Trustees has added two additional capital projects we expect to accomplish by June 2021, along with all the academic and endowment goals stated in our Strategic Plan back in 2015.
We are excited to share with you these additional projects, which will have an immediate impact on our school community. First, we are addressing our South Campus athletic fields and, over time, our main entrance. Construction crews have begun digging up the two playing fields that sit in front of the MacDowell Athletic Center, adjacent to Winter Street. The purpose of this work is to replace these two grass fields with two larger artificial turf fields, both of which will be completed in time to be used for fall sports. This is a particularly fast-moving project, made possible by a small group of community members who decided the timetable for the project needed to be accelerated.
Once completed, the new fields will be used by the football, field hockey, soccer, and lacrosse teams, as well as by our Middle School teams. Softball and boys’ soccer will play on Nonesuch Field. As part of the project, we are building a covered pavilion between the two new fields that will be outfitted with seating and restrooms. It will serve as both a community gathering space and a fan viewing area. In related news, I’m also happy to say that come fall, the walk to Nonesuch Field will be considerably shorter, thanks to a new boardwalk that will allow athletes and fans to walk from behind Haynes Hall, over the wetlands, directly to Nonesuch Road.
Then, with our new Center for Science and Visual Arts opening in January, we have begun planning how best to repurpose the spaces formerly used as Upper School science and visual arts classrooms. Middle School learning is the obvious answer. We don’t yet know the full scope of renovations required or the complete price tag involved, but we do know the academic imperative. The Middle School will nearly double in square footage as soon as we can renovate the vacated spaces, which should begin in January 2020. We look forward to providing you with more information in the near future.
We are making terrific progress toward meeting the goals we laid out for ourselves in our 2015 Strategic Plan. Those goals include ensuring that our facilities reflect and support the excellence of our programs—solidifying Rivers’s position as a top-tier educational institution.
As you can imagine, I am very excited by all we are doing to make Rivers the best school that it can be. All of this is possible because of the commitment and generosity of this amazing Rivers community, for which I am deeply grateful. Thank you for your ongoing support, and I look forward to celebrating with you on our new fields in the fall and in our new building in January.
Head of School