BWHS’s New Home
Berkshire Waldorf High School announced on June 30 that, based on an ongoing multi-year fundraising campaign, they will begin renovations of Procter Hall, the Old Town Hall on Main Street in Stockbridge, as the future home of the school.
BWHS Executive Director and Faculty Chair Dr. Stephen Sagarin notes that this project will enable the school “to double our current square footage, including creation of more and larger classrooms and a science lab, while remaining in Stockbridge, within walking distance of the town center.”
Berkshire Waldorf High School relocated from Great Barrington to Stockbridge in 2013, and currently holds classes in rented space on Pine Street, up the hill from the Red Lion Inn. This year, the school is 20 years old and recently graduated its 16th senior class. The school’s tagline, “Small school, big world,” conveys its commitment to the community and beyond.
Historic Structure from 1829
“This also realizes the Town of Stockbridge’s dream of finding a permanent use for an 1829 historic structure,” added Teresa O’Brient, BWHS Board of Trustees Chairperson. Ms. O’Brient is a long time Stockbridge resident and owner of the Stockbridge Country Store. “We are so excited to finally have the resources to fund the remediation and renovation that will open a new chapter in the story of the Old Town Hall.”
“Win, win, win”
Stockbridge’s First Congregational Church, UCC, voted unanimously on June 26 to approve a memorandum of understanding between the Church and the School, to bring the building back to life. Church and School have formed a close working relationship over the past two years of the pandemic, when BWHS used the sanctuary and other rooms in the church building during the school week for socially-distanced classroom space. Both see this partnership as “win, win, win,” according to Pastor Brent Damrow, “for the Church, the School, and the Town.”
The school plans to partner with an architect to design the space and an engineer to assess the building’s needs. The Town of Stockbridge will need to approve aspects of any plan, probably later in the summer or in the early fall. Once this is complete, work on renovating the building for classes will begin as soon as possible.
Sagarin noted, “While we understand the complexity, we believe Procter Hall is uniquely suited to the long term needs of the High School. We are excited to partner with the Church and the Town to negotiate a transaction that is in the interest of all parties.”
How to Help
Berkshire Waldorf High School provides an education for adolescents that seeks truth, develops imagination, nurtures growth, fosters responsibility, and honors inner freedom in an atmosphere of academic excellence, artistic fulfillment, openness, and mutual respect. It offers Honors-level, college preparatory academics and is integrated into the larger community, including renowned artists’ studios, labs, libraries, and gyms, Shakespeare & Company’s Fall Festival of Shakespeare, field trips to events and museums in the Northeast, and international travel, including Germany, South and Central America, and France. Spots are currently available in Grades 9-12 for the 2022-23 school year.