Millbrook School | Millbrook, New York
2003: “Pulling Forward” Campus Plan
Our decades-long relationship with Millbrook School, a rural independent boarding school in New York, began in 1998 with the design of several projects that included a new 30,000 sf fine & performing arts center, a renovated 40-bed dormitory with faculty apartments, four new faculty residences, and several additional improvements. Building on our strong partnership, VMA then undertook a comprehensive planning process to identify facilities that would be needed to accommodate a 25% increase in student enrollment. Millbrook’s commitment to environmental stewardship helped guide our approach to the campus development, as did the campus landscape plan that had just been established by Andropogon Associates. Proposed projects included new athletic fields, infrastructure upgrades, a dedicated math & science center, renovating existing dorms, and two new dorms that would form a gracious quad with existing buildings. In 2003, the school approved the plan and began a capital campaign to fully support a phased seven-year implementation of these projects.
2010: Student Life Facilities Plan
After constructing the academic facilities proposed in our 2003 “Pulling Forward” Plan, Millbrook School asked VMA to revisit the plan to address the school’s changing needs. The new Student Life Facilities Plan would focus on aspects of campus that impacted the boarding school’s residential experience while supporting their approach to campus sustainability.
A member of the Green School Alliance, Millbrook had committed to having a carbon neutral campus by 2020 and mandated that all significant building projects meet LEED for Schools requirements. VMA’s recommendations outlined everything from recycling programs to energy options to help Millbrook achieve its environmental goals, and the results include a seven-acre solar field now powers the entire campus.
The school had developed a set of strategic priorities, like enabling increased enrollment and maintaining a pedestrian-friendly campus, which we used to organize many disparate improvements into an actionable plan. A series of four “critical path” projects that would address their needs were supplemented by six additional projects less connected to their institutional goals. Since then, the school has accomplished all the critical path projects, the most prominent of which is their new dining hall, as well as several of the ancillary projects.
2019: Comprehensive Campus Plan
We are currently working with Millbrook School on our third consecutive campus plan which will build on what we have already accomplished together to continue their thoughtful growth and evolution. Although the plan is still in its early stages, we have already identified a need for expanded athletics facilities, additional student and faculty housing, and improved classrooms, especially for their well-regarded language program.