Morristown, NJ. – January 29, 2018 – On Friday, January 26, The Peck School hosted a colorful and eclectic event to showcase elements of the school’s transformative educational curriculum. The event was followed by a grand celebration to announce an ambitious $12 million fundraising goal. “The Peck Promise: The Campaign for Excellence Elevated”, is the school’s first major fundraising endeavor in over a decade, and the dollars raised will further actualize the K-8 school’s Strategic Master Plan.
Friday’s event was hosted in the recently christened Don Diebold Center for Sportsmanship and Athletics, a 30,000 square foot sports complex that was funded along with other major projects in The Campaign for Peck, which concluded in 2007. The evening began as attendees explored a series of interactive showcases, driven by faculty and students, illustrating engaging curricular developments at the school such as: Claymation, 3-D modeling, laser cutting and engraving, computational thinking, robotics, collaborative art, rapid prototyping, and creative coding. The interactive exhibits highlighted design thinking and student-centered learning initiatives, while reinforcing traditions such as Peck’s character development and family dining programs. The exhibition took place in the upper gymnasium of the school, which has also recently been renamed the Wentworth Gymnasium in honor of early campaign benefactors and past Peck parents, Kim and Finn Wentworth of Morristown. Mr. Wentworth was also a former trustee of the school.
The new capital campaign and master plan promise to “elevate the enduring excellence of The Peck School” by securing the funds to construct a new “Peck Commons.” The Commons will foster stronger community ties and serve as a hub for fresh programming, events, artistic endeavors, character development, and family dining. In addition, the campaign will fund the creation of a corridor of collaboration in the school’s STEAM wing, which will co-locate science and math classrooms and labs, art studios, and the existing woodshop to facilitate greater opportunities for cross-curricular projects and team teaching. The F.M. Kirby Lower School Building will undergo improvements to incorporate a state of the art science lab and relocate administrative offices to enhance student services and safety.
The new campus master plan also involves the demolition of a 60-year-old cinderblock gym and the creation of a redesigned campus entrance, green space, and expanded outdoor play area. As a result, members of the Morristown community travelling along South Street will be re-introduced to the classic architecture and façade of the Victorian era Lindenwold Chateau – one of New Jersey’s historic landmarks. The Lindenwold building sits at the center of the school’s campus and symbolizes the timeless traditions celebrated by Peck, while offering timely transformation in learning in a state of the art Idea and Design Lab recently constructed in the chateau’s basement.
Thanks to generous leadership gifts from Board members, current parents, past parents and alumni, the school unveiled on Friday that over 70 percent of the fundraising goal has already been reached. This enabled the early completion last summer of the Idea and Design Lab, and other projects in Phase I of the master plan including: a re-imagining of the school’s stand alone kindergarten building, an outdoor classroom, the construction of a new robotics lab, the creation of a 7th and 8th grade common space that serves as a tech-free-zone and social hub for Upper School students, and a Kindergarten and First Grade Idea and Design Lab (K.I.D. Lab).
“For 125 years, Peck has been a leader in K-8 education. As a school, we take pride in honoring our history, we remain committed to our core values, we hold ourselves to high standards of excellence, and, we have been unafraid to adapt and innovate,” said Head of School Andy Delinsky to over 350 attendees at the campaign launch. “I am thrilled to be here tonight and honored to be part of this special occasion. A night like tonight really does bring into focus the amazing place Peck is,” added Board Chair, Peck parent, and alumnus, Jamie Foley. Current Board members and parents David Welsh (Morristown) and Carrie Kurtzman (Madison) are Co-Chairs for the Peck Promise Campaign. For detailed information and media, visit peckpromise.org.