The Steering Committee of the Vestry and Board of Trustees of St. Stephen’s School presented the fruit of their work to a combined meeting of the boards on May 5. The Committee shared their recommendations of the pre-concept drawings of WW, along with a recommendation of a fundraising consulting firm to conduct a feasibility study.
The deliberation of the boards was grounded in a reflection on the leadership of Jesus as he shared his ministry with 70 disciples. Risk, courage, peace, stability, acceptance, and joy were themes that the groups uncovered as they reflected on the nature of mission and leadership.
David Kelley, the Steering Committee Chair, reminded the boards of what brought St. Stephen’s to the place of creating the Steering Committee. A campus audit performed 2 years ago by the Building and Grounds Committee revealed that St. Stephen’s Church and School have over $1,050,000 in deferred maintenance. The Vestry and Board determined that it was prudent to launch a joint committee to begin the process of master planning the campus.
St. Stephen’s Design Principles
1. Maximize use of space. Shared space between school, church and community. Interaction of functions.
2. Home-like, intimate spaces. Not institutional.
3. Environment-friendly. Green, renewable, reusable, universal design.
4. Flexible. Forward looking. Ability to change spaces over time as missions change.
5. Welcoming. Open to the neighborhood and to the city.
The Board of Trustees and the Vestry also received the recommendation from the Steering Committee of a consulting firm to aid in determining the financial feasibility of a plan and our community’s readiness. This firm will help the boards determine the giving capacity and interest within the St. Stephen’s community for a capital campaign.
The next step in the process is a fact finding trip to New York. Members of the Steering Committee, at their own expense, will be visiting with leaders of the Dioceses of New York and Long Island to see how churches and schools are sharing space with mixed use developments, including housing. They will be learning of a number of funding models. They will also be touring schools which are capitalizing on the urban nature of their neighborhoods and building up, rather than sprawling.
You will be kept abreast of their findings on social media. Look for the pictures next week on Facebook!