February 7, 2019
by Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School
We are fortunate to live in an older neighborhood in Minneapolis. Our house, built in 1915, is more than 100 years old and has a warm, comfortable feel to it. However, with two parents, two children, two dogs, and aging parents, we made the decision several years ago to add on a new kitchen, a bathroom on the first floor, and a family room in the basement. The old kitchen was so small that I could touch the counter and cupboards on one side and easily touch the sink and counter on the other side. Cozy doesn’t quite capture the feeling of what it was like to cook in that small space and it limited what we were able to prepare and serve for our family and loved ones.
We love our house and can’t imagine living anywhere else. However, as our family evolved, our needs did too. We needed to change how we lived. Schools are like that too. Over time, our vision of education changes and the needs of our students emerge in ways that cause us to outgrow the spaces that served us so well for so long. Mounds Park Academy is no exception. Throughout the history of the school, we have renovated and added on to the original building constructed in 1958 to better meet the changing needs of our students.
As you’ve hopefully heard, MPA is now taking the next step to ensure our students have the facilities to live, learn, and thrive in today’s 21st century globalized society. Our commitment to educating the “whole-child for whole-life” requires us to dream big and do right. Together, We Dream: The Campaign for MPA will require all of us to come together to meet the needs of our students and make their dreams become a reality.
Thanks to more than 70 parents, alumni, and parents of alumni who have paved the way with kindness, we have a head start on realizing this dream. More than $3.2 million of a $5 million campaign has already been donated. Because of this generosity, we are able to “break ground” next week on a new kitchen, cafeteria, and commons in what is now the Kreischer Gym. At the start of the 2019-20 school year, we will have a state-of-the-art kitchen along with a flexible cafeteria and gathering space ideal for lunch, events, studying, and meetings.
In the coming months, our goal is to raise the remaining $1.8 million to fulfill the campaign priorities:
- a new library in the current cafeteria and kitchen, providing the latest technology and collaborative space required of 21st century learning;
- a more robust endowment that ensures our faculty and community have the resource they need; and
- a competition-grade outdoor track, where our students can practice safely and compete alongside other schools.
Specifically, we aim to reach the $4 million mark by May 1, 2019 so that construction may begin on the library this summer.
We have much more to do to accomplish our goal and realize the dreams of our community. Together, We Dream: The Campaign for MPA will touch the lives of all our students as well as the students and families who will come after us. A packet was sent in the mail this week and there is a website with all the information you need to learn more about this exciting initiative. Please visit moundsparkacademy.org/together to watch the campaign video, see renderings, and get inspired. You are also invited to a brief groundbreaking next Thursday, February 14 at 2:30 PM in the Kreischer Gym to officially launch the renovations. Stay afterward for refreshments and an informational session about Together, We Dream.
We love our house even more now that the renovation is complete. Although we lived through a bit of dust and a few inconveniences, the new spaces enabled us to grow as a family in new ways and strengthened the values we have. I am so excited for that to happen at MPA with this new initiative. Together, we are building upon and honoring where we have been and together, we are stepping forward toward what is yet to be. Together, We Dream.