The fabled story of the growth and development of St. Richard's Episcopal School is well known and cherished by us all. From its foundation in 1960 under the leadership of the Reverend Lynch, through its evolving relationship with Trinity Episcopal Church, its steadily increasing enrollment and increased facilities, the school has flourished. I am very pleased to report that the next exciting chapter in SRES growth and improvement is about to be written.
At the Board of Trustees meeting of April 24, 2017, a formal motion was accepted to begin the final phase of The Campaign for St. Richard's. This means that the school is committed to the construction of approximately 12,000 square feet of new classroom space in a two-story building on 33rd Street. The time line for this project sets the completion date as June 2019.
This is extremely exciting news and is the culmination of a great deal of patient preparatory work including a remarkable fundraising campaign led by co-chairs Bob and Marlene Marchesani, a committed group of campaign committee volunteers, and John Mainella, director of development and major gifts. The campaign has raised $4.6 million or 85% of the $5.5 million goal and is at the trigger point to set the wheels in motion.
If you've driven down Meridian Street past the school, you've noticed that much work has been carried out in preparation. The buildings between 32nd and 33rd Streets have been removed, the south parking lot is seeing more use, and some cosmetic improvements have been made.
The new building itself will contain customized learning spaces for early childhood on the first floor and an innovative technology and science center with room for robotics and maker-space areas on the second floor. Much discussion took place in identifying these key areas as major enhancers of the educational programs offered at the school.
One salient point to note is that these are improvements designed to create an enhanced quality environment for learning and are not being built to increase the enrollment capacity which we feel is optimally comfortable and manageable at around 375 students.
As the construction takes place, we shall also be looking at the landscaping to the south and around the new building. We are having fruitful conversations with community partners, such as Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, and hope to have more announcements in the coming months. I am fortunate to have experience in school building expansion and construction and am very much looking forward to supporting the process to create this exciting new learning space at St. Richard's.
We are not quite finished fundraising yet. If you haven't had the chance to come in and hear more about the project, I urge you to do so right away. With around $900,000 left to raise, we have more work to do, but continue to be confident that the St. Richard's community will rise to the occasion. Do be in touch to find a time for a tour and a chat.
Thank you for your continued support!
in the New Science and Innovation Wing
Mr. John Brady
Middle Division Head
Students clad in green blazers are working in small groups as you enter the newly constructed Science and Innovation Wing at St. Richard's. You notice the sinks, a hood, white boards, and lab equipment so this must be a science classroom, but you also notice the furniture is flexible, allowing students to work in small or large groups. Screens on the wall display student notes as they work. There is an abundance of natural light. This is clearly a science classroom, but it feels more like a hive of student learning. Students are actively engaged in their learning and the teacher is able to guide explorations, creations and discussions.
The previous statements are about to become a reality for St. Richard's.
The idea of student-centered learning was the clear winner as the St. Richard's Science Faculty used a Six Sigma process called multi-voting to determine our guiding principles for planning the expansion. The Campaign for St. Richard's identified that additional space for learning was needed to support the world-class education students receive here. Through reflection, listening, and discussion we have drafted a vision statement for the second floor Middle Division Expansion:
The Science and Innovation Wing will be designed with intention to enhance student learning in the sciences and related fields as an interactive and flexible space focused on student-centered instruction for integrated learning at St. Richard's Episcopal School.
This strategy shifts the action that occurs in the classroom from the teacher to the student. This pedagogical method falls squarely in the classic curriculum model as Socrates used critical thinking and discussion to have his students grapple with ideas and issues.
One instructor who will be using the Science and Innovation Wing is Mr. Nick Stewart, Grade 5 and 6 science and history teacher. "The new science wing is an exciting opportunity to create the space our students need to explore and experiment with the world around them. We are able to create new and innovative classrooms where students can learn by engaging in thoughtful observation and collaboration."
Grade 7 and 8 science teacher, Mrs. Ann Papachronis added, "Currently, due to limited space, the classroom serves as both traditional learning space and lab room, ultimately affording neither their full potential. With the upgrade, SRES students will have room to grow and allow science projects to flourish in their own space."
Students are already engaged in critical thinking as demonstrated by their success in "You've Got 3 Minutes," (an entrepreneurial pitch competition), Science Bowl, and the second and third place prizes earned in the Eco-Science Fair. Providing our students a space that allows them to design experiments to answer their questions and just as easily debate their ideas is vital to their growth as learners and global citizens.
The need for professionals in science, technology and innovation fields will continue to increase, and we want to do our part in preparing our students for a potential career in those fields. While we do not know how many of our current students will pursue these careers, we can be confident they will be well equipped to think, question, design, fail, persist, analyze, and improve the world in which we live.
The Hatching of a Dragon EC Wing
Early Childhood and Lower Divison Head
St. Richard's youngest students are going to find out exactly how exciting school can be. Teachers in early childhood (Pre-Kindergarten, Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten) through the ongoing support and engagement of the capital campaign, have been collaborating on taking play-based learning to the next level.
Having closely examined the practices and philosophies of local and nationally esteemed childhood facilities, programs, and experts in early childhood development, St. Richard's faculty members are examining the influence of physical environment on the success of students' learning and development. Our goal is to make the new Early Childhood wing a state of the art facility that offers research-based educational activities for our youngest children to experience learning through active, quiet and messy zones.
• Active Zone (Block Play, Dramatic Play, Indoor Active Play, Music Movement)
• Quiet Zone (Book Corner, Educational Toys/Manipulatives, Coding)
• Messy Zone (Art, Discovery Science, Sand and Water, Cooking, Engineering)
The future EC wing will be designed to foster development of the whole child, while supporting the SRES classic curriculum. Designated areas will be configured to encourage small group work of 2-3 children and facilitate design thinking. Every part of the EC classroom will have a purpose, with all of the necessary resources, displays and organization to facilitate children's work.
Veteran St. Richard's educator Tammie Read is excited about the new wing and the opportunities it will bring. "I have been at St. Richard's Episcopal School for 25 years, 15 of them in the JK program. I am very excited about the plans for the Early Childhood wing. This space will allow us to create new activities and adventures for our JK students. The multipurpose room within the Early Childhood wing will provide much needed room for teachers to develop programming designed for larger, open spaces and will create opportunities for multi-class activities."
A strong focus on project-based investigations will provide the means for children to apply the skills necessary for the four areas of development: social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language. Fine motor skills will be developed by drawing, painting and building, and math skills will be introduced through balance and spatial relationships. Oral language skills will be strengthened with dramatic play and conversation.
Thank You from
the Campaign Chairs
As the chairs of the Campaign for St. Richard's we have been deeply gratified by the positive response by the donors who to date have donated and pledged more than 80% of the campaign goal.
The love and generosity for the school from our alumni, current and past parents, former and current faculty and administrators, Trinity Episcopal Church members and friends is a true strength of the SRES community. We are at that point in the campaign where we need everyone to consider what you can do to help the school reach the $5.5 million campaign goal.
If you have not yet made a pledge or gift to the campaign, we hope you will do so soon. And we truly need everyone's help. Your gift, regardless of the amount you decide to make, is valuable and appreciated. If you have already made a gift or pledge, please consider if you can make another gift or increase your donation or pledge. Lastly, please talk about the campaign with members of the school community with whom you are in contact. This is an exciting and vital effort to ensure the future success of the school we all love.
St. Richard's Episcopal School is so much more than the buildings and grounds that comprise the school's campus. We know the magic of the school is the student and parent experience and we deeply believe that our teachers are our most important asset. But we also know that in the admissions process, an attractive school building and campus often play a key role in parents' decision-making on which school their children will attend.
The Campaign for St. Richard's will take what we know and love about the school and expand upon it. And the expansion of the building and work on the campus landscape is not solely for the sake of appearances, but because we truly believe the magic of the SRES experience will be enhanced by having...
• more space for students to create;
• better facilities for teachers to experiment;
• more places for our young people to explore;
• more room for our youngest Dragons to move;
• and more space for everyone in our school community to gather.
In closing, we accepted the call to lead the Campaign for St. Richard's for three reasons - Allison, Class of 2004; Andrew, Class of 2008; and Matthew Class of 2014.
We have seen the value of a St. Richard's education in the people that our children have become. Leading the campaign is our way of ensuring that today's and tomorrow's Dragons will benefit from the values and knowledge for a lifetime that is the promised to every St. Richard's Episcopal School student.
We hope you will join us in ensuring the lasting legacy and enduring promise for the school we all love so dearly.
With sincere thanks,
Marlene and Bob Marchesani
33 East 33rd Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46205
For more information and to schedule a tour, please contact John Mainella at