In the fall of 2019, Ridgefield Academy and Landmark Preschool began considering the significant maintenance needs of the Lower School Playground. The process created an ideal opportunity to consider the purpose, location, and impact the space had on the Ridgefield campus. Within this context, it became clear that relocating this important landmark to the center of campus provided the most impactful solution for RA/LP. With Board approval, a committee was formed to move the project along and fundraising for this initiative began.
The planning committee carefully managed the scope of the project, including a competitive bidding process, while donors were simultaneously being approached to support. Careful considerations about the natural landscape, playground equipment, and accessibility helped secure all the necessary approvals from the Town of Ridgefield. Construction began on the last day of the 2020 school year and was completed on time for the first day of school, taking only three months.
With extraordinary donor generosity, this stunning Outdoor Campus Center was completed within the $1.1 million budget. No tuition or operating dollars were used thanks to the support of 23 donors; the top three gifts of $500,000, $250,000 and $200,000 helped secure funding for this initiative in only 18 months. A reception was held for the donors and their children in the Outdoor Campus Center during the fall of 2021. This small event was a chance to say “thank you,” it included a sparkling cider toast and a tour by Head of Preschool and Lower School Alison O’Callaghan.