The New School Montessori opens new Enrichment Center, expands programming

Last week, a new building opened its doors to the 125 students of The New School Montessori. The Enrichment Center will house TNSM’s dance, music, art and foreign language programs.
Renovations began on the 4,000-square-foot center, which was formerly a house, last October. It was once owned by a TNSM parent and later purchased by the school to expand its programming. The Enrichment Center is now the third building on campus, which includes an 1800s Victorian mansion, built by furniture manufacturer Robert Mitchell, and a converted chapel.
Very little was done to the building’s structure, says Eric Dustman, director of TNSM. A small addition was added on to create an atrium for the second floor, which lets in lots of natural light for art classes.
Additional spaces in the Enrichment Center will enhance TNSM’s extended-day program with quiet nooks for homework. There is also meeting space, and the Enrichment Center is available for community activities.
“We’re constantly looking to improve our programs and make them better,” Dustman says. “We’re interested in educating the whole child, and we firmly believe in the arts, freedom of expression, imagination and creativity. We believe kids should be exposed to these things and celebrate them.”
Current TNSM families, staff, alumni and friends have been pledging support to the school’s Deep Roots, Strong Branches capital campaign. The campaign is a multiphase process that will later include additional upgrades to the historic Mitchell Mansion and the Annex.
By Caitlin Koenig
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