Groundbreaking Campus Improvements & Campaign

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Groundbreaking Campus Improvements & Campaign

On Friday, May 5, 2023, the board of trustees along with major donors, alumnae, friends of Hathaway Brown School and Shaker Heights Mayor David Weiss gathered on campus for a ceremonial groundbreaking for phase four of the school’s campus improvement plan — the Primary School. The ceremony also included a special campaign announcement. 

Watch the ceremony

Primary School Renovation 

What’s now known as the Primary School was originally Raymond Hall — a dormitory housing 40 students, per year, from 1927-1972. Board President Helen Rankin Butler ’87 began in the Primary School a few years after boarding ended and remembers the space being “cozy with special gathering spaces.” 

Original features of the Early Childhood and Primary School wing will be preserved in the $18 million renovation, such as the fireplace in the new Jeschelnig Family Library. Modernizations to the Primary School will transform the space from its original purpose to an updated building with infrastructure that incorporates new technology for the next era of educating and empowering girls. 

The renovation, set to complete in time for the 2024-2025 school year, includes: 

  • the Jeschelnig Family Library, given by Rich and Michelle Jeschelnig, parents of daughters in the classes of ’22 and ’27

  • a naturally lit and welcoming lobby, affectionately named the Outcalt Family Primary Atrium after alumna Jane Quayle Outcalt ’55

  • a music/movement room given by Ann Rittinger Petersen ’46

  • a multi-purpose and early childhood playroom given by Clara Taplin Rankin ’34 

  • An inviting admissions suite given by Michael and Danielle Horvitz Weiner ’00, parents of a daughter in the class of ’31

  • state-of-the-art Primary and Early Childhood classrooms

  • a cutting-edge science center

  • an inspirational art center

  • an elevator that makes the building ADA compliant

  • and a 12,000-square-foot extension added to the south end of the building to increase classroom space.

The design has the best school safety features, top-of-the-line HVAC systems, and spaces intentionally designed for collaboration between, and with, faculty and parents and students. 

Lighting the Way Campaign 

Hathaway Brown has raised $57 million through the Lighting the Way campaign. This campaign has funded the campus improvement plan: 

  • modernizing the Adelaide Cobb Ward 1951 Classic Building

  • enhancing the athletic spaces with six tennis courts, there are now two turf fields — the Scout and Chasey Scaravilli Memorial Field and Wolf Field 

  • renovations to the Link Building that connects the Classic Building and Primary School

  • Increased the footprint of the cross-divisional IDEA Lab with the Marge and Dan Moore Makerspace 

In 2019, the late Adelaide Cobb Ward ’51 of Kansas City, made a gift to Lighting the Way which was the largest donation in school history. Other donors have contributed 13, seven-figure gifts, many of which are their largest gifts to Hathaway Brown. 

“What’s truly groundbreaking is the unprecedented support of alumnae and friends of Hathaway Brown School,” said Head of School Dr. Fran Bisselle. “With all the momentum and outpouring of support, our board has decided to extend the campaign through 2026.”  

Extending the Lighting the Way campaign through 2026 means it will culminate during the school’s 150th anniversary.

Lead supporters of the construction enjoy the day
Head of School Fran Bisselle with Shaker Heights Mayor Weiss and Board Member Rich Jeschelnig P' 22 &'27
Head of School Fran Bisselle with Dani Horvitz Weiner '00, board member, P '31
Site of the new Outcalt Atrium in the Prime Building
Board Member and P'22 & '27, Rich Jeschelnig with JC Butler, P'16

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