Millbrook School | Millbrook, New York
Our partnership with Millbrook School stretches back decades and has impacted virtually every inch of their campus. We recently completed our third consecutive comprehensive plan which will build on what VMA and Millbrook have already achieved through a shared vision for thoughtful growth and evolution.
Millbrook and VMA had just completed a new 30,000 sf fine and performing arts center, a renovated 40-bed dormitory with faculty apartments, four new faculty residences, and several additional improvements. To guide their continued expansion in a cohesive and strategic way, VMA then undertook a comprehensive planning process to identify the needs to accommodate a 25 percent increase in enrollment. The “Pulling Forward” plan, a play on the name of the school’s founders, needed to harmonize with a campus landscape plan completed by Andropogon Associates. Proposed projects included new athletic fields, infrastructure upgrades, a dedicated math and science center, renovating existing dorms, and two new dorms that would form a gracious quad with existing buildings. The school approved this portion of VMA’s plan and initiated a successful capital campaign to support its seven-year implementation.
We developed a second comprehensive plan following that building campaign, this time focused on improving the boarding school’s residential and student life experience while supporting their institutional commitment to having a carbon-neutral campus by 2020. The school had developed a set of strategic priorities, like enabling increased enrollment and maintaining a pedestrian friendly campus. We used these guidelines to organize many disparate improvements into this second plan. A series of four “critical path” projects that would address the needs were supplemented by six additional projects less connected to their institutional goals. The school completed all the critical path projects, the most prominent of which is a new dining hall.
The third comprehensive plan launched not long after the dining hall’s completion and was approved not long before the pandemic. It identified a need for expanded athletic facilities, matching the growth seen elsewhere on campus, as well as additional student and faculty housing and improved classrooms, especially for their signature language programs.