students put shovels in the ground May 1 to begin construction on their new certified "Green" gym/performing stage, designed by a recognized architecture professor at Washington University.
The architectural firm of Adrian Luchini—a chaired professor—is responsible for the look of the new gym, new classrooms in 2011, and the overall campus, school officials said. Patrick Brown is the architect of record. Offices are in Clayton.
The Montessori students were part of the groundbreaking ceremony for the 4,200-square-foot gym at the Chesterfield campus, 14000 Ladue Road.
The school's Capital Campaign raised significant funding for the new facility, which conforms to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) architectural standards.
The Montessori school added the 7th- and 8th-grade classrooms for school year 2011.
The school building was originally the clubhouse of a golf and country club back in the 1960s, and still maintains a large swimming pool in the back, said an immediate neighbor of the school.
"The school is situated on a five-acre campus in Chesterfield, with an architectural award-winning building, playgrounds, a swimming pool, two tennis courts and a children's garden," according to the school website.
The golf course eventually was sold off for a housing subdivision, and Montessori redesigned the clubhouse as a private school.
Here's what a school announcement said about the newest facility, scheduled to be completed in about six months, late Fall 2012:
The multi-purpose facility will include a half-court basketball floor and performing arts stage. The facility will provide the necessary space for many pursuits, from large projects, physical education, performing arts, recreational and extracurricular activities to parent socials and events.
Architect Adrian Luchini offices are in Clayton. ICS Construction Services, Ltd. is handling the construction.
Project notes describe the architect's design aesthetic:
As an addition to an existing facility located in a typical suburban condition, the strategy for the project is informed by a simultaneous, potentially conflictive intention: to operate within those aesthetic cannons that normally define the lack of concrete identity in all suburbia in the U.S., while trying to radically change the existing image of a building from the '60s.
The new roof , being a concave plane that undulates, it is both a form and its own shadow.
This has produced a facility with a strong specific identity which also remains faithful to the cacophony of formal repertoires normally found in suburban locations.
From the school website:
Founded in 1981, Chesterfield Montessori School offers an authentic Montessori education for toddlers (from age 16 months) through Grade 8.
Students come from many countries and diverse backgrounds.
CMS is a non-profit school accredited by the Association Montessori International (AMI), which was founded in 1929 by Dr. Maria Montessori. Montessori educators recognize Chesterfield Montessori School as one of the finest schools in the U.S.
Visit CMS’ website for more information: http://www.chesterfieldmontessori.org