Dear Member of the Brunswick Community,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to share with you that Brunswick has acquired 270 Lake Avenue — a wonderful and unique property in Central Greenwich. Encompassing nearly 17 acres, it is arguably one of the last available large plots of land in town. As detailed below, the property includes many historic, architecturally significant, and high-quality school buildings.
Located on Lake Avenue, conveniently in between our Maher Avenue and King Street campuses, the campus was originally designed and occupied by the Rosemary Hall School, prior to its merger with Choate. It has since served a variety of educational purposes, most recently as Carmel Academy.
The property is bounded by Lake Avenue on the east, Ridgeway on the west, The Field Club on the north, and Rock Ridge on the south. The site includes more than 16 school structures — all in very good condition — ranging from classroom buildings, two gymnasiums, a chapel, and various outbuildings. One of the gyms and the chapel are actually designated as historical landmarks. All told, buildings on the site total more than 92,000 square feet.
Prior to purchase, Brunswick worked with neighbors of the property and received Planning and Zoning permission to create an Early Learning Campus on the site beginning in Fall 2024. As such, the eastern portion of the campus will house our Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, which will move from King Street, along with a new nursery/early childhood program in a separate building. We will invest the balance of this year in comprehensively updating and preparing these buildings for next year's opening.
Moving our Pre School classes to Lake Avenue will then allow our Middle School to make use of the current Pre School building on King Street to further enhance our offerings at that grade level.
Meanwhile, the remaining, substantial buildings on the western side of the new campus on Lake Avenue will, in turn, be converted into faculty housing.
The total cost of the purchase is just over $18 million. We are budgeting additional and substantial funds for improvements and conversion.
All told, the addition of this new property will provide immediate and significant enhancements to both our Pre School and our Middle School programs as follows.
Our youngest students moving to Lake Avenue will:
- Make our early learning facilities more accessible to the majority of our youngest parents by locating them in Central Greenwich while lessening traffic flow at our King Street campuses.
- Create a fully dedicated Early Learning Campus on Lake Avenue with its own dedicated classroom buildings, playgrounds, open spaces, auditorium, and gymnasiums.
- Due to Lake Avenue's proximity to Maher Avenue, allow for increased interaction between our Upper School boys and our Pre School boys as part of our “Big Brother” program.
For our Middle School students, this move will:
- Allow us to move the fifth and sixth grades across King Street to larger and more age-appropriate classrooms in the current Pre School building.
- Give our seventh and eighth grades more space and flexibility in our current Middle School building.
- Provide for multiple-student breakout rooms and departmental-specific offices and extra-help rooms throughout both Middle School buildings.
- Create two separate, dedicated dining halls — one for fifth and sixth grades and another for seventh and eighth.
- Provide the Middle School with a dedicated and high-quality auditorium, also in the former Pre School building.
Offering affordable housing options in close proximity to our campuses allows our teachers to become more involved and dedicated members of our community than would be possible were they to have to endure long, daily commutes.
As mentioned at the outset, the buildings on the western side of the campus will be transformed into 16 faculty-housing units, ranging from three-bedroom apartments to single-bedroom efficiencies for faculty interns and assistant teachers.
Providing proximate housing for our faculty and staff has long been a Brunswick priority and has proven to be an essential factor in attracting and retaining the best faculty and staff possible. Although we have endeavored to expand our housing stock over the past few decades, an additional 16 units will go a long way toward addressing our current needs now and in the future.
Without question, this purchase is a very significant undertaking on behalf of the school and it comes after years of study, careful consideration, and planning.
This strategic acquisition of a fully developed and largely turn-key academic campus within easy reach of our other campuses represents a pivotal moment for Brunswick. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity promises to further enhance Brunswick's already best-in-class facilities and programs and to further cement our position as a national educational leader.
Please be assured that we will keep you informed of our progress in the days and months ahead.