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May 7, 2018 4:01 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hayground School Proposes Plan To Construct New Building On Campus For Art, Science Classes

The Hayground School is looking to expand.  DANA SHAW
May 10, 2018 9:32 AM

Mentorships can allow students to work hands-on in professional disciplines, guided by professionals—that was the basis for starting the Hayground School in Bridgehampton more than two decades ago.

The school’s administration has now proposed a plan to expand its campus with a new building designed for arts and science education, where students can work side by side with farmers, scientists, chefs and artists.

“People in the community are becoming increasingly aware that Hayground’s ethos empowers kids to ask questions, engage with their surroundings and develop a passion for learning,” said Sarah Stenn, a member of the school’s development committee. “This growing demand means we need more space to accommodate more Hayground students and campers. Thus, we are in the design and permitting phase and are super excited. It’s a huge project for us.”

The school sits on 12.76 acres of land nestled between Mitchell and Butter lanes. Joe Lombardi, an engineering consultant with The Raynor Group, said the expansion will tack on 5,600 square feet of additional classroom space. Mr. Lombardi represented the Hayground School at a Southampton Town Planning Board public hearing on April 26.

“The school is proposing a two-story addition to the property,” Mr. Lombardi said. Starting with one schoolhouse building, Hayground has completed several additions in recent years: a gymnasium, a two-story schoolhouse and a cafeteria.

However, this plan has been a long time coming. Hayground submitted a pre-application for the additional schoolhouse almost two years ago, and it took about a month for The Raynor Group to get the Planning Board’s revisions. In July 2017, the school’s representatives returned with the pre-submission paperwork. It took the engineers and the project’s architect, David Berridge, nearly 10 months to formalize a site plan application.

“The concept of the building is two equal classroom sizes that can be interchanged with the curriculum. And then there will be a third teaching area sheltered by an outdoor roof—a green roof, because there is going to be a lot of science and growing,” Mr. Berridge said at the meeting.

It’s designed with a flat roof to house additional rooftop gardens. There also is a terraced outdoor courtyard in the design that will connect to Hayground’s Edible School Yard kitchen, and herb and vegetable gardens. The roof will overhang and connect with the adjacent dining halls, which Mr. Berridge describes as “the heart and soul of the school.”

Ms. Stenn said Hayground School classifies itself as a private school with a public mission. According to figures provided by the school, more than 80 percent of children receive some kind of tuition reduction to help ensure socio-economic diversity among its student body.

“The purpose of Hayground’s new building is not enrollment-driven—it is intended to further enhance the quality of the Hayground educational experience. This structure serves our mission,” Ms. Stenn said, “having more space will enable us to maximize the range of our innovative programs to our kids and community.”

It’s unclear if the project’s undisclosed cost will raise enrollment fees or tuition. Hayground hired its first development director, Robert Hankins, to spearhead the project and to incentivize additional fundraising outside of its alumni system.

Once completed, the school will fill 6.8 percent of the 12.76 acres of land it sits on. The maximum amount the school can improve its structure is up to 10 percent of the parcel, according to the guidelines for a property in the CR-80, or country residential requiring 2-acre building lots. The proposal also includes upgrading the school’s sanitation system, which is still under review at the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

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