March 4, 2015

Stuart Country Day School Plans to Renovate Lower School Facilities

The Board of Trustees at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, the all girls independent school in Princeton, has announced plans for a transformational renovation of the Lower School facilities with construction to begin in June, 2015.

The design and project management has been awarded to Richardson Smith Architects in Princeton. “In our design, we sought to create a metaphorical garden unique to Stuart that would unite the outdoor spaces on either side,” said architect Juliet Richardson. “We looked to the work of Jean Labatut, the original designer/architect of Stuart, for inspiration, interpreting his architectural language in a new way to produce a design that both resonates with the past and presents a new vision for the future.”

The existing floor plan of the Lower School K-2 area will be reconfigured to revolve around a large central hub named for Millie Harford, one of the school’s founding mothers and an early pre-kindergarten teacher at Stuart. This common learning space will be equipped with flexible state-of-the-art furnishings and technology, and will be designed to encourage hands-on exploration, creation, and collaboration between students, teachers, and the greater community.

“Since 1963, Stuart’s mission has been to provide our girls an innovative and challenging education, and in the words of Millie Harford, ‘with a door open to the world,’” said Dr. Patty L. Fagin, head of school.

Mrs. Betty Wold Johnson, a past Stuart parent and Trustee, has committed a lead matching gift to the renovation project. “We are so very grateful to Mrs. Johnson,” Dr. Fagin said. “Her gift will essentially allow donors to double the impact of their contributions.”

Drawing on the school’s natural surroundings, the new space will have floor to ceiling windows that open to the Townsend Gardens on one side and a Lower School playground on the other. New classrooms and offices will have easy access to the central hub at either end and will accommodate the move of the school’s junior kindergarten class into the Lower School.