Lab Schools launching $5 million campaignThe Laboratory Schools are launching a $5 million campaign to increase the size of their athletic facilities. The new facilities will expand opportunities for student participation in sports as well as provide better space for physical education classes.
A campaign kick-off event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, in Sunny Gymnasium. The event will feature a parade of Middle School and University High School athletes as well as performances by student musical groups and the Jesse White Tumblers.
The Schools have already secured more than $1.3 million in pledges for the drive, which will continue through 2000. The board of directors have made pledges totaling $707,000, representing 100 percent board participation.
"The upcoming improvements were all envisioned in a master plan developed by the board and administration," said Lucinda Lee Katz, Director of the Laboratory Schools. "The fine programs that we have at the Laboratory Schools should be matched with exceptional facilities."
Specifically, the campaign will provide the following improvements:
_ An addition located to the south of Sunny Gymnasium will have a new basketball court with seating for 400 people. The court, on the addition's second floor, will double the space available for physical education classes and for basketball and volleyball practice, and permit better scheduling of team practices. The first floor will have classrooms, offices, and an aerobics area complete with mirrors as well as a small locker room.
_ Jackman Field, to the east of the gymnasium, will be reconfigured to include a soccer field, five new tennis courts, and a Lower School playground. The field will also be leveled, irrigated and landscaped.
_ Sunny Gymnasium will be remodeled so that classrooms are enlarged and locker rooms are renovated.
The master plan began with a new Middle School building, which was completed in 1993, and continued with the total renovation of Rowley Library in University High School in 1996. The Athletic Complex is stage three of the master plan. Future objectives include a new 25-yard swimming pool, a performing arts center and reconfigured space for the arts.
The new facilities will also improve physical education by giving teachers an opportunity to teach aerobics classes and weight training more effectively, said Karen Duncan, Athletic Director.
"Although we have a weight training area, we need more space and more equipment. Weight training is important for our athletic teams and also an important fitness exercise for students to learn.
"Our goal is to offer a wide variety of physical education opportunities so students can find something they like and stay with it for the rest of their lives. Having more room will give us a chance to broaden our program," she added.
Sunny Gymnasium opened in 1929 and was designed to serve about 800 students. The building now serves 1,100 students daily in kindergarten through 12th grades.
Because of the growth of the Laboratory Schools and interest in physical education, some classes are held in Belfield and some athletic practices are conducted off-campus. The new building will bring all physical education classes and more team practices into one convenient area.