May 5, 2016
You spoke, and we listened. Family satisfaction surveys over the years have lamented the lack of programs in the arts and athletics. Now, I am pleased to report that we have made exciting progress on our promise to add arts facilities and a gymnasium to our campus.
The Norman H. Read Gymnasium will include a regulation sized basketball / volleyball court, athletic office, locker rooms, and support spaces. It will be built this summer on the parking lot directly across from the Lynch Street side of the school.
The Nile Albright Center for the Arts will be on the first floor of Shetland’s Building Two, directly across from our main building’s front door. Already under construction, it will include art, music, and dance studios, a 180 seat theater, and a gallery reception area.
This comes at a cost. Unlike a school district, charter schools fund their own facilities. We lease ours from Shetland Park, but we are responsible for furnishings and equipment. There is no room in a per pupil tuition based budget to start buying basketball hoops, bleachers, theater seats, or pianos. We need to raise money, but we are almost there.
The Read Foundation gave us the start with a gift of $240,000. Our Trustees stepped up with 100% participation, and the Amelia Peabody Foundation made an outright grant and then doubled it with a matching challenge of $40,000 to encourage everyone in the school community to join in this effort. That will bring us to our goal.
So, we have initiated Salem Academy’s Second Decade Fund, a sort of wedding registry of gift opportunities enabling everyone to be a donor even at the most modest level. Learn more about this exciting project and our progress by clicking here. And stay tuned for updates on groundbreaking and news of celebrations.