Our New Home
City Garden School is so excited to announce the home for our new school. For the first time since our school began, CGS will have a home of it's very own!
We have located a property at 4608 Mexico Gravel Rd. We have 11.6 acres of rolling woodland with a creek and beautiful spaces to play and learn. Conveniently just a half mile from Highway 63 N., our tranquil piece of forest is the Goldilocks of properties in Columbia -- easy to access yet untouched enough to hear the soundscape of songbirds and the rustle of grasses blending with the babble of the creek.
“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all a patter and a pitter.”
– JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit
Transitions and Building
With new property comes the opportunity to build buildings--to choose the design, the footprint, the aesthetic, the function of every bit of space. We treasure our traditions, foundation, and mission of providing an intellectually rich, nature-based curriculum, integrating ample outdoor time, age-appropriate stories, and multisensory materials into each subject. We look, simultaneously, to the present and our current families and our future serving children and families in the Columbia area for generations to come.
Rendering of new administration building
Rendering of new kindergarten building
Over the past decade students have been making art and making meaning no matter where our classrooms have been, making friends and making mischief in buildings and the forests, and making a difference in a thousand different ways after graduating from our little school.
Our campus hasn’t yet been built, but it will be, and when it is those walls will hold stories as rich as the memories already made in our current and past locations. Our community will grow. We will change. We will also hold on to all the things we love so dearly.
We will go forward and we will keep our familiar songs, stories, festivals, and loving teachers at the heart of our school.
Overhead New Campus
The proposed new campus will have five buildings and blend into the landscape with domed, earth-covered structures.
(*rendering, not actual photo)
Each classroom will be capable of delivering a totalizing experience of education, and the interior settings will be adequate for many activities (craft classes, sculpture, carpentry, and many others). Classrooms also be consistent with the age and development cycle of the children who occupy them.
The new campus building design embodies the idea of comfort, promotes harmony between the arts, incorporates rhythmic elements, emphasizes a connection to nature (inside and out), utilizes natural lighting, and will place a heavy emphasis on the use of color in classrooms.
The current plan is for five buildings: administration, kindergarten, 1st-3rd, 4th-5th and a kitchen, and 6th-8th. The buildings are arranged on terraces because that is the topography of the property. The admin building, parking lot and kindergarten will all be visible from Mexico Gravel Rd. The remaining three buildings will be nestled into the hillside on a terrace between the creek and the upper level. Those classroom buildings will not be immediately visible from the street.
*The renderings below do not depict the topography of the property.
The parking lot in this rendering is located on Mexico Gravel Rd., with the classroom buildings facing away from the street and overlooking the creek below.
The L-shaped building is the administrative building and will house offices for the director and administrative assistant as well as gathering and art display areas and teacher lounge/ workspace and storage.
The smallest building will be a dedicated space for the kindergarten and be a home-like space for our youngest students.
The three longer buildings will be home to the elementary and middle school as well as an on-site kitchen.
The larger arches are the doors to the classrooms. Between the classrooms are large mudrooms and restroom facilities.
Our school is magical because of the people who inhabit it: those whose daily life was with us in the beginning, those who call CGS home today, and those whose paths will lead our way in the decades to come.
We will honor the spirit of our school as we embark on this transition. Knowing that to go back is “No good at all!” To “Go sideways? Impossible!” Going forward is the only thing to do, and we will do so mindfully, courageously, and with a clear sense of who we are.
When we step onto the new campus and know it is home, it will not be because of the repurposed furniture or familiar student artwork in the atrium, but because of the spirit of our school —creative, kind, and accepting— that is as true no matter where are, as it would be if we held classes in a circus tent, on a cruise ship, or at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro and as we have demonstrated by the flexibility and creativity of the past few years of locations.
We will move to our forever home— To buildings constructed specifically to be our school, structures that honor our school’s mission and history while looking toward its future. There will be familiar faces and plenty of new faces as well. And as we start making art and making meaning, making friends, and maybe a little mischief, our new space will (over time) feel simply like our space.
Perhaps it’s an aspirational sentiment, but the next couple of years will be an adventure that can share the same subtitle as Tolkien’s Hobbit, living up to the reassuring and very real words: “There and back again.”