The Encinitas Planning Commission unanimously voted to approve The Grauer School’s Design Review Permit and Coastal Development Permit in mid-December. The campus renovation will replace the existing temporary structures with permanent facilities in Phase III of construction at The Grauer School. Phase III represents the completion of the campus build-out and is the largest fundraising effort in the history of The Grauer School.
Since The Grauer School is a small school by design, with 150 students in grades 7-12, Phase III is not a campus expansion; rather, it is a rebuild of the existing footprint. The design is inspired by classical, traditional enclosed quad designs reminiscent of college campuses. Rather than siloing the use of a given classroom to one department, multiple departments are clustered into common spaces around the campus to promote interactions across departments and age-mixing among grades.
The Grauer School is the regional leader in the small schools movement and was recently named one of Outside magazine’s 2013 Top 10 Places to Work in the United States as well as one of the Finest Visual and Performing Arts Schools in San Diego by FINE Magazine.
Capital Campaign Chair Carol Higgins, Grauer Parent and Grauer Board of Trustees Member, states, “Completing the campus at this point will solidify The Grauer School’s role as not only one of the premier San Diego independent schools but also ensure that the incredible advantages small schools give to their students will be available for students in the coming generations.”
The Grauer School launched its Phase III Arc Capital Campaign at the 2013 Grauer Legacy Gala held on May 4, 2013 and generated close to $500,000 in initial donations. An additional $1.7 million was gifted following the initial launch of the campaign. The Grauer School is seeking a total fundraising goal of $3.25 million for the $4M project and has moved into the formal portion of the campaign, seeking an additional $1.55 million to complete the campaign.
Founding Head of The Grauer School, Dr. Stuart Grauer, states, “The intention is to promote our open and collaborative secondary school environment and ensure that anyone who steps onto campus immediately feels a sense of connectivity, safety, and acceptance. The courtyard is designed to encourage the most scholarly, creative, and peaceful yet dynamic environment we can observe. Students, faculty, and staff cross paths and collaboration is the norm.”
The design features nearly 10,000 square feet of eco-friendly classrooms including new spaces for the English and Mathematics departments. The Loewy Family Foundation has already funded the Loewy Physics Lab, which will house The Grauer School’s award-winning FTC Robotics Team, Shockwave Robotics. Donors will also be given options to incorporate sustainable design elements that will achieve the standards of LEED Silver or Gold. Other grant funding is soon to be announced.
The goal for the campaign is to break ground in June 2014 with a grand opening in Winter 2015.
Capital Campaign Chair Carol Higgins’ son Nick is in The Grauer School’s Class of 2015. “I am personally looking forward to the completion of the remodeled campus. When I watch my son walk across the stage to receive his diploma, I will be so proud of the legacy that the Grauer community was able to create together,” stated Higgins, whose son will be among the first students to graduate in the new buildings.
–The Grauer School press release