Dear LWGMS Families and Friends,
LWGMS has reached a major milestone — this spring we mark 20 years since we enrolled our first students at L-Dub. 20 years! L-Dub is growing up. And we’re excited for what’s next.
As many of you know, we have leased our current space since 2007, and our building committee spent years exploring alternative locations for our school before resigning to negotiating a new lease. (Thank you, building committee.) That 20-year lease would have required us to spend more than $4 million to address seismic, structural, and ADA upgrades, but still, the constrictions imposed by an aging facility would limit our ability to provide fully progressive programming to our girls.
Opportunity came knocking
Out of the blue, almost 20 months ago, we were approached by Giddens School, a pre-k through fifth grade school in the Central District, that was facing similar challenges and also seeking a safer, modern, long-term facility. Through trademark innovative thinking, we partnered with Giddens School to purchase and develop land and build a modern, new campus where we can both exist—retaining our independent identities, but sharing resources to accomplish more together than either of us could alone. Our new school will be built at 2101 22nd Avenue South: the former site of the Imperial Lanes bowling alley.
A unique partnership
Like L-Dub, Giddens School is one of the most diverse independent schools in the area. Also, like L-Dub, Giddens School emphasizes rigorous academics alongside a focus on students’ social and emotional wellbeing and social justice. The efficiencies we gain by sharing financial, intellectual, and material resources will allow us to stay small and lean and true to our roots. We believe this partnership— to build a campus from the ground up on which we will co-locate —is the first of its kind. It’s a cost-effective and sustainable project that could be a model for schools and nonprofits.
The L-Dub of the future
This project will enable us to provide our students and staff with the 21st century learning experience that they deserve, with:
- modern STEAM classroom, connected to a dedicated art room
- science lab
- performance space
- teaching kitchen
- ample outdoor space, and
- ultimately, a rooftop playfield
Plans, partners, and timeline
Our project team is practicing innovation within constraints every day to come up with a dynamic and feasible plan to meet our goals. We are committed to building the most environmentally-friendly campus possible within our budget, using the Living Building Challenge as a conceptual framework. We hope to break ground this summer, and move in the fall of 2019.
We are grateful to our partners!
This is a $30 million building project; LWGMS is responsible for roughly half of that amount which we will fund through long-term financing and capital campaign donations. We have raised nearly $5.2 million so far from local foundations, corporations, and individual donors with the help of our thoughtful and hard-working Campaign Cabinet: Doug Greene P’17, Danielle Tilden, Alison Alhadeff, Aaron Hendelman P’19, Hannah Keyes ‘08, Rachel Ligtenberg P’18, Anbrit Long, Erika Shaffer P’15 and P’17, and Jeff Sprung P’15. Stay tuned for more on our campaign after the gala...
Come celebrate with us!
On May 18, we will celebrate our 20th anniversary and toast L-Dub’s next big move into our permanent new home. Join us! Bring your friends!
Friday, May 18, 2018 | 6pm
Block 41 | Downtown Seattle
Tickets at http://www.lwgms.org/gala
Community coffee and neighborhood forum: May 24
We also invite you to come see design schematics, ask questions, and learn more about where we’re headed on Thursday, May 24:
LWGMS Community Coffee
Thursday, May 24 | 8-9am
Lake Washington Girls Middle School, 810 18th Ave
Two Schools Community Forum
Thursday, May 24 | 6-7pm
2100 Building, 2100 24th Avenue South
Please, send us your ideas or questions, or come by and have a look at the latest plans.
Since we opened our doors in 1998, we have worked hard to prove that a learning environment encouraging girls to take risks, explore leadership, solve problems, collaborate, and stand up for themselves and others is an educational model that works. We are preparing girls with the tools they’ll need for the future. Just imagine what we can do in facilities that are future-ready, too!