Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, the only all girls independent school in Princeton, announced plans for a major renovation of part of their facilities with construction to begin in June, 2015.

Stuart LS Reno Floor PlansThe design and project management has been awarded to Richardson Smith Architects in Princeton who will transform the Lower School facilities. 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.

Architect Juliet Richardson said, “In our design, we sought to create a metaphorical garden unique to Stuart that would unite the outdoor spaces on either side.” She explained, “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.”

About Stuart: As the only all-girls school in Princeton, New Jersey, Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart is uniquely positioned to provide an environment where girls put academics first, are willing and able to take risks, and explore every opportunity. Nestled on 55 wooded acres, our challenging curriculum takes advantage of the way girls learn in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math—as well as the arts, humanities, and athletics. Founded in 1963, Stuart enrolls girls in Jr. K-12, and has a co-ed early childhood program. Stuart is part of an international community of 150 Sacred Heart schools and is an independent Catholic school that embraces students of all faiths and backgrounds. Our graduates go on to become confident, intelligent and articulate leaders for positive change in our world.

Stuart is committed to providing healthy environments for all students, faculty and staff, achieved through sustainable design, construction and maintenance practices. The School’s curriculum seeks to draw direct connections between the educational experience and tangible examples in the surroundings. The new Lower School space will capitalize on the opportunity to draw these connections for students while achieving ambitious goals for improving the school’s energy efficiency.

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.


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