Lyford Cay International School (LCIS) recently celebrated the opening of the Gateway Building at its new upper school campus. The building is part of phase one of the upper school project, which has seen the school expand to two campuses just a half mile and a 7-minute walk apart.
To achieve the school’s mission for students of all ages, in 2014, the LCIS Board of Directors and Governors made a decision to purchase a tract of land in close proximity to the lower school and adjacent to the St. Paul’s sports field already in use by the school.
According to school officials, a master plan for both campuses was finalized and a generous group of community donors came together to take the first step in what they say has become the most significant development in the recent history of LCIS.
The new facilities will enable LCIS to expand and enhance its programming in many areas, said school officials. The east wing of the Gateway Building houses specialist classrooms where upper school students can deepen their learning in a variety of fields, including physics, biology, chemistry, design, art, dance and music. Similarly, the general classrooms of the west wing are bright, airy, spacious and equipped with premium furniture and educational technology tools to support student learning.
Grade 12 IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma Programme Art student Miya Rodgers who has been accepted into the Savannah College of the Art & Design (SCAD), shared her feelings about the new facilities.
“We are very fortunate to have these facilities at our disposal and to be able to use them in our education. The Art Studio is my favorite space. It is an inspiring and spacious classroom which I believe will allow me to develop further as an artist,” said Rodgers.
Further highlighting the opportunities the new campus creates for students, LCIS principal David Mindorff said there are learning walls in each classroom that will allow teachers to work smoothly during technology-integrated lessons.
“The green spaces and forests of the campus are ideal for outdoor education and student-led environmental initiatives. Importantly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, having two campuses has allowed us to facilitate increased face-to-face opportunities for students,” said Mindorff.
Ensuring that younger students have high-quality spaces in which to learn also continues to be a priority for the school. The lower school campus within Lyford Cay has also seen developments in recent years. Now that grade eight through 12 students have moved to the upper school campus, lower school students will benefit from a large design technology space, art studio and science labs. Several classrooms have already been expanded.
LCIS officials said they continue to work toward the full completion of phase one of the upper school project and planning; and fundraising for future phases is already underway, with sporting facilities and a second academic building as main priorities. An outdoor sports complex consisting of two multi-sport game courts and two tennis-only courts officials say, will provide improved facilities for physical education classes and co-curriculars for students, as well as opportunities for hosting tournaments and facilitating in-house training for local and international competitions. Further development of a swimming pool and multi-purpose hall they say are all part of a larger vision for the campus.
LCIS officials remain committed to making the high-quality International Baccalaureate (IB) education the school provides available to bright Bahamian students. The campaign for the new campus included major investments in the Scholarship Endowment and Financial Aid Programme. With the support of donors, school officials say the fund will continue to grow to ensure the school is able to support talented Bahamian students who would otherwise not be able to attend LCIS.
Mindorff said the new upper School campus would not exist today if it were not for the generosity of supporters.
“These donors understood the need for LCIS to expand from its original footprint. Their support has allowed us not only to provide world-class facilities to support our academic programs but to be able to offer additional enrollment opportunities in response to the ever-expanding interest in our school.”