The new 5,000 square foot high school building at DAT, to open in December, is more than a construction project.
It is “transformative,” says DAT President Dr. Aryeh Fischer, “because it unifies the school.”
With the DAT high school on the Glassman Education Campus for the first time, this will encourage more students to continue at DAT after eighth grade, and will bring administrative and pedagogical economies of scale, says Fischer.
He credits DAT Head of School Lisa Stroll with pushing the vision to unify the school and Sally Alpert, a former president of DAT, with spearheading the project.
Which, if it is more than a construction project, is also less than a construction project. The new building is not technically capital construction. Rather, the building was purchased from Colorado College, dissembled, and is now being reassembled on the DAT campus.
This saved money and “expedited things,” says Fischer.
Comprised of seven sections, the building will have four classrooms, a dedicated science lab, a dedicated beit midrash Torah study hall), a faculty lounge, kitchen and the Eugene M. Fischer Basketball Court.
The cost is $1.2 million, most of which has been raised. The rest will be raised, says Fischer, because construction on the Glassman Education Campus is legally bound not to carry a mortgage.
The DAT High School now has 23 students, with room to grow to 100. DAT K-8 is “bursting at the seams,” says Fischer, with 137 students.
“It is a complete shift in vision to have K-12 on one campus,” says Fischer, “a major cultural shift. Parents no longer need to send their children to an off site location for high school.
“This should strengthen our philosophy as a religious Zionist school.
“It breaks the mold of leaving the school after eighth grade.”
The new high school building is “stage one,” says Fischer, who looks forward to putting a gym on campus and to expanding the K-8 building.
“But we’re taking it one step at a time.”
The unification of the school will allow for shared resources: teachers who can teach in eighth grade and ninth grade (for example); science teachers who can cross grades; fewer staff needed to supervise the daily prayers; administrative efficiencies; overall, a certain lowering of operating costs.
“It is critical that our community have a flourishing religious Zionist day school in the heart of the East Side,” says Fischer.
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