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The Foundation of Oakwood

Lane McIntyre, Head of School

Everything in life benefits from a solid foundation. Whether it is the homes we live in or the skills we use in our daily lives - they all are built upon a foundation set years ago.

50 years ago, Oakwood was built on the foundation of great people with great hearts who genuinely wanted to help others to grow and learn and succeed. Their mission was to provide a multisensory educational program in which students with learning differences were guided to achieve their unique academic and social potential in a nurturing community environment.

Soon we will be gathering for an official “Groundbreaking” for the new Oakwood School addition.  However, it is not entirely accurate to call it a “Groundbreaking”.  If you’ve been to Oakwood recently you’ll see that we have definitely already broken a lot of ground!!  In light of that, it may be more appropriate to call this a “Foundation Building”.  Because we are laying the foundation for our new building.  

This “Foundation Building” is not only physical, but symbolic as well.

Physically, the ground has been prepared for pouring concrete footers.  The north addition will contain new academic breakout space, a new STEM lab/maker’s space; new dedicated art and music space; a new multipurpose room and lunch room, and more! The new gymnasium will give us space for an even more robust PE program.  It will give us space for students to get good physical exercise even when it is wet or cold outside.  It will give us a large gathering room for school concerts and assemblies, and facilitate an enhanced “Speaker Series”, and it may even enable us to start our own sports teams!

It is important to point out that Foundation Building is not only bringing Oakwood’s campus into the 21st Century, but, more importantly, it has given us a chance to create an optimal learning space for our students.  The paint, the lights, the carpet, the walls, the ceiling, the HVAC system, and even the furniture -- all were chosen with the goal of improving our students’ learning environment.

As with everything we do at Oakwood, we put our students first. And so, with this in mind, every design/construction decision was made in the context of “how will this help our students learn?”  How can we build a building that helps accomplish our mission even better?

 But, our new buildings will not just be cement and steel. Inside, our dedicated and devoted teachers will continue teaching strategies to Oakwood students to help them learn in the manner that works best for them.  They will be providing these students with the academic and social foundation they need to achieve future academic and personal success.

We are incredibly proud that the existing building has housed the miracle called Oakwood School for the past 40 years.  It has served that purpose for 40 of the School’s 50 years.  Inside these walls thousands of lives have been changed….transformed.  What we’re doing today is establishing the foundation that will position us to serve students for another 50 years.

We’ve been transforming children’s lives for decades.  It is now time to transform the campus in which we do that life-changing work.

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