Cornerspring Montessori School Groundbreaking
Oct 5, 2016
CORNERSPRING MONTESSORI SCHOOL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sept. 16, 2016
Contact: Alicia J. Nichols, Campaign Director
Cornerspring Montessori Breaks Ground on
New Passive House School Building
BELFAST, ME – Cornerspring Montessori School officials held a ceremonial ground breaking today at the site of their new Passive House building construction on Lower Congress Street in Belfast. Attendees included Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau, Rep. Erin Herbig, Brandi Savage from Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s District Office, parents, students, campaign donors, city officials and members of the business community. Students from Cornerspring Montessori School equipped with hard hats and pint-sized shovels broke ground, marking the first Passive House Montessori school to be constructed in the state of Maine.
Cornerspring board treasurer Scott Kelley welcomed the attendees to the event and explained its significance.
“Today, Cornerspring Montessori School makes history. Today, our students break ground for the first Passive House Montessori school built in Maine. Thanks to donors to the Journey Home campaign, and with financing in place from Damariscotta Bank and Trust, we are able to begin construction while continuing to raise funds for the new school,” said Kelley.
The $1.18 million school includes a Primary Wing and an Elementary Wing, along with four classrooms, a room for the Toddler Program, all-school multiuse spaces, a teacher conference room and administrative offices. The entry and reception area will be welcoming and spacious, allowing for large groups of students and parents that gather at the start and end of the school day. The school is sited on a 35-arce parcel of land purchased by Cornerspring Montessori, which will serve as the outdoor education space for environmental and science classes, as well as the annual summer camp program. The campus features woodland and will include gardens and trails when complete.
The new Cornerspring Montessori School was designed by GO Logic, a Belfast architecture and construction firm. It will be the first Montessori school in Maine to target Passive House certification.
The new school will be built to the highest standards of sustainability. According to Matt O’Malia, GO Logic Partner, and a leader in Passive House design in the U.S., under the Passive House standard, which relies on a highly insulated building shell and heat recovery ventilation, a building uses 90% less energy than traditional construction.
The result is a major reduction in fossil fuel use, significantly improved indoor air quality, and exceptional occupant comfort within the 6,100 square foot school to be located at 256 Lower Congress Street in Belfast.
In today’s economy this will translate to a savings of more than $8,000 on annual heating costs and more than 4,000 gallons of fossil fuels not burned. In the future, solar panels on site could generate all heat energy needs helping to attain goals of no heating costs and less environmental impact.
“We are very pleased to see the construction of the Cornerspring Montessori School move forward,” O’Malia said, “as this project represents years of hard work and careful planning by the school, the families and the board. When complete, the new school will be a unique and wonderful educational environment for the families of Cornerspring as well as the greater community. It is rewarding to see that the ambitious goals set for the quality and sustainability of the project will be realized, resulting in a school that will become a model for new buildings in the future,” O’Malia added.
Journey Home campaign co-chair Sarah Tomalty expressed the board and committee’s gratitude to the project’s donors.
“Today we recognize the thousands of hours of volunteer work and the generosity of 163 contributors to the Journey Home Capital Campaign,” said Tomalty. “We are so grateful to all of our donors – and thanks to the many donors who are here with us today. We are here – thanks to your support. You have helped us surpass the half-way mark. To every one of our donors, we extend our heartfelt thanks,” Tomalty added.
The capital campaign has raised $866,526 to date in contributions, pledges, and in-kind gifts from individuals, local businesses and foundations. The Phase One goal is $1.65 million.
Journey Home campaign co-chair Eric Kormann recognized the support of 100% of Cornerspring Montessori’s staff, families, board and campaign committee, and added, “To be clear…while we celebrate today – we’re not done. Our journey continues! The Journey Home campaign continues. We are working to raise another $783,000 to fully pay for this wonderful school. For anyone who was waiting to see with their own eyes that we could do it…here we are today. We are building the first Passive House Montessori school in Maine,” said Kormann.
Cornerspring Montessori’s Head of School, Susan Beemer, acknowledged the support of the city of Belfast, the Chamber of Commerce, and local businesses.
“We are excited to partner with Damariscotta Bank and Trust in financing our construction of this beautiful new building,” Beemer said.
“In this moment of our groundbreaking for our new school building, our wonderful teaching staff, our families and our children are moving into a bright new future. This building offers our students ample natural light, flexible and functional classrooms, room to grow and generous outdoor spaces for environmental and science-based programs. Maria Montessori said, ‘within the child lies the fate of the future.’ Cornerspring Montessori School is preparing our future peacemakers, our caregivers of the earth, our future leaders in our community, county, state, country and world. This building will ensure that we can continue to prepare children for the future for years to come,” Beemer added.
Students from Cornerspring, equipped with hard hats and shovels, were then invited by Beemer to do the honor of breaking ground.
“Okay Cornerspring Students, dig in,” Beemer exclaimed, as the pint-sized shovels were driven into the dirt.
While the goal of Phase 1 of the campaign is to secure contributions to fund the new school, the Phase 2 goal includes plans to increase the tuition assistance fund by $200,000 and to establish a $150,000 capital reserve fund. Combined with the construction and campaign costs, the overall campaign goal is $2 million.
“By increasing our tuition assistance fund, Cornerspring Montessori will be able to offer families more financial aid and increase the economic diversity of the student body,” according to board treasurer Scott Kelley.
School officials state there will be no programming disruptions as the new school is under construction. Cornerspring remains at its current location, 18 Hatley Road on the athenahealth campus for the 2016-17 school year. Officials plan a smooth transition with school opening for the 2017 year in the new building on Lower Congress Street.
Currently 56 students are enrolled in Cornerspring Montessori School. The new school will allow enrollment to grow to 92 students. A full time toddler program with dedicated space in the new school will also be available, with space for ten children.
Since 2001, more than 600 children have experienced Cornerspring Montessori programs. Families recognize Cornerspring Montessori as a high quality alternative and an educational asset in the region.
GO Logic staff involved with the project include in addition to O’Malia – Alan Gibson, GO Logic Partner;
Timothy Lock, Project Architect; Mike Martin, Construction Manager and Holly McBride, Marketing Director.
GO Logic is a 25-person architecture and construction firm located in Belfast, Maine, specializing in design and construction of highly crafted, sustainable buildings. Their mission is to improve the quality of the built environment while significantly reducing building energy consumption and carbon emissions. GO Logic takes an integrated approach to design that considers program, climate, building form, and materiality in the development of beautifully resolved spaces and architectural solutions. The firm brings a high level of conceptual expertise and thoughtful attention to detail to their design and construction projects that, when combined with their energy engineering experience, bring enduring, sustainable solutions to reality.
Since GO Logic was founded in 2008, it has become an industry leader in the design and construction of Passive House Standard, technologically advanced buildings.
Cornerspring Montessori School is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, serving 56 preschool, kindergarten and elementary students. Founded in 2001, Cornerspring is one of 34 Montessori schools in the state. More than 600 children have experienced Cornerspring programs since 2001. For more information on Cornerspring Montessori or to give securely online visit the Journey Home page at www.cornerspringmontessori.com. Or mail a check made out to Cornerspring Montessori School to: Journey Home, P O Box 67, Belfast, ME 04915-0067. Follow the journey on Facebook: Journey Home – The Campaign for Cornerspring Montessori.