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Greensboro Day launches $7 million campaign

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Anne Hurd

Anne Hurd

Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Greensboro Day School has kicked off the public phase of a campaign to raise $7 million to build a new middle school, reorient the entrance of its campus to Lake Brandt Road from Lawndale Drive, and create a park-like central quadrangle.

The campaign, expected to last two more years, has raised $3 million since its quiet phase began in 2010, including two gifts of $500,000 each.

Co-chairing the campaign are two couples with children at the school, including Chuck Keeley, president of CGR Products, and Merrill Keeley, a volunteer at the school, and Jim Rucker, president of The South Atlantic Companies, and Melinda Rucker, also a volunteer at the school.

The school, which was established in 1970 and has roughly 2,000 alumni, enrolls 875 students from “transitional” kindergarten through 12th grade, and is organized with lower, middle and upper divisions.

It operates with an annual budget of $14 million and a permanent endowment of $8 million, and raised $10 million in its last capital campaign, which ended about 10 years ago and raised money for its Davison Center for the Arts, which includes a 600-seat theater and a smaller “black-box” theater.

The building for the new middle school will replace a smaller facility that now houses the sixth, seventh and eighth grades, and also will include the fifth grade.

The new middle school aims to “maximize students’ interaction with the natural world and allow for advanced curriculum design and teaching practices,” says Anne Hurd, director of advancement. “We know that middle grades learn best by doing, by having space.”

Designers for the building, which will cost roughly $5.6 million, are Centerbrook Architects and Planners in Centerbrook, Conn.

Once the new middle school is built, the existing facility on an adjacent site will be demolished and replaced with a new landscaped quadrangle that will feature benches and trees and serve as the site for graduations and community events.

Funds from the campaign also will pay for development of a new entrance to the school in anticipation of increased traffic on Lawndale Drive expected to result from construction of Greensboro’s new urban loop.

With the new entrance, vehicles dropping off students will enter the campus from Lake Brandt Road, a less-traveled road not expected to see an increase in traffic once the urban loop is finished.

Hurd says the campaign, which in its quiet phase focused on lead gifts of $100,000 or more and on its board, now will focus on major gifts of $25,000 or more over as much as five years from other individuals and parents.

Unlike a “comprehensive” campaign that includes annual giving and endowment giving, the new campaign is seeking only capital gifts for facilities, she says.

So it will be combined in a “dual” campaign with the annual fund, which this school year aims to raise $700,000, and donors will be asked first to make an annual gift and then for a gift to the capital campaign.

“We want to make sure we don’t sacrifice our annual fund for our capital campaign,” Hurd says.

Co-chairs for the annual fund are parents Fran Davis, senior scientific liaison at Astellas Pharma Global Development, and Bert Davis, principal at Granville Capital.

Charlie Patterson is serving as campaign consultant.

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