But were afraid to ask! 

Katherine Schantz has met with over 100 families in the last year and a half - both individually and in small groups. The purpose of these meetings has been to share the process and progress of the Reservoir Campus transformation and what it will mean to all of our students and families. She feels that it has been a wonderful way for her to get to know Lab's families better and to share the vision for the future of the School with them.

In the last two weeks, we have held four Q & A sessions.  Here were the most frequently asked questions:

 1. What is Transforming Lab. Transforming Education?

Transforming Lab. Transforming Education., The Campaign for Lab is a capital campaign that includes raising the funds to build a new high school, renovate and enhance the Middle School and Arts facilities, find an athletic field and add to the Financial Aid Endowment. Lab will raise $12 million by July 31, 2016 to achieve the objectives identified in each of these areas. 

The new high school building - opening in April - reflects a new sense of identity and independence for our high school kids.  It is an exciting and highly functional mix of classrooms, collaborative and informal areas.  This blend of spaces will combine the best of Lab’s current instructional methods with new tools for project-based learning.  Our high school will be moving from 8,000 square feet to 29,000 square feet! 

Renovations in the Middle school building will concentrate on creating safer and more comfortable learning environments of the Intermediate and Junior High school, while also expanding the Theater and Arts Programs, which are integral to arts-based instruction at Lab.  The arts piece will be named for Lab's founder, Sally L. Smith. 

2. What is the timing of the campaign and projects?

The quiet phase of the campaign began in January 2013. The community announcement was made in fall 2014 and the remainder of the campaign is scheduled to run through July 31, 2016. We estimated at the beginning of the fundraising in 2013 that the building and renovations we hoped to do would cost over $35 million, but our fundraising feasibility study and consultants strongly suggested that we couldn’t raise more than $10 million. We were able to borrow about $17 million, roughly covering the costs of the construction of the new High School. 

 When we broke ground for the new high school, we publicly launched Transforming Lives. Transforming Education., the Campaign for Lab with a $10 million goal – with the monies now raised being directed to the Middle School and Arts Center.  By September 2015, thanks to the generosity of many donors, we had raised $9.7 million towards the $10 million goal.  At that time had not even reached out broadly to our current Lab families.  So we elected to raise the goal to $12 million. Reaching and exceeding the goal of $12 million allows more flexibility and funding for the Phase Two/Middle School. 

The first phase of Lab’s makeover - our new high school - opens in April 2016, and our 9th – 12th graders will move in after spring break.  The facilities are more spectacular than we’d ever imagined possible. We will use the spring to work out any kinks and also to see how the spaces are utilized.  We know that the students and the faculty will have their own ideas about how to best use the facilities!

We are now in the design and architectural concept phase of the Middle School and Arts and Theatre Program renovation.  All monies now raised are being directed to this project.  The architects - Cox Graae Spack - spent many hours with our students and faculty interviewing them about their wants and needs.  A conditions assessment has been done, and we know there are some necessary mechanical and electrical upgrades.  We are in the process of balancing our budget vs. our dreams.

After the high school students move out, the junior high will move down a floor into the old high school space.  They will be going from 4,000 square feel to 8,000 square feet.  We will get a chance to see how they use this space before starting the renovations.

3. Can pledges be made over a period time?

Yes. Gifts to the Campaign range from $100 to $1 million for a total of $10.3 million to date.  The average gift from parents is about $50,000.  Most of these extraordinary and generous gifts are pledges which will be paid over 5 years.  Pledges allow the School to know now what funds are available for the Middle School and to begin planning accordingly.

4. Can gifts be made anonymously?

Yes. Careful provision will be made for honoring the wishes of anyone who may desire to contribute to the School and remain anonymous. 

5. Will there be donor recognition for the campaign and named giving opportunities?

Yes. There will be a campaign final report that will list all donors in their respective giving categories and levels. Click here to view a list of available named giving opportunities. Please contact Marty Cathcart, Director of Advancement, with any questions. Named giving opportunities begin at $25,000.  All gifts of $10,000 and above will be acknowledged on a donor all in the new high school.

6. Will the new high school building mean more students? 

The capacity of the new high school is 150 and we have seen an uptick in applications for admission. We will be able to enroll more students in this space which will allow for a larger social fabric – fielding more sports teams and drama productions, etc.. We know that this space will also provide a better transition to College.

7. When can we tour the new high school?

We will be offering tours during Spring Fair on April 24th and Grandparents Day on May 6th.

8. Who do I contact if I have additional questions or for named giving opportunities?

You can contact the Director of Advancement Marty Cathcart directly at 202-944-2201 or by email at martycathcart@labschool.org.

Please join us by making a gift HERE.