September 30, 2018
A Message from OVS President/CEO Michael Hall-Mounsey:
An oak tree grows to a certain point, and then nothing visibly happens. It appears dormant. But what we can’t see is that the root system is reaching down, pulling in nutrients and establishing a healthy footing before we see its foliage begin.
Right now, Ojai Valley School, like the oak tree that serves as its symbol, is putting down roots and building a solid base in anticipation of new growth that soon will be visible for all to see.
This growth will be most evident at the Upper Campus where in the coming year we will rebuild the academic and residential buildings that were destroyed in the Thomas Fire. We will rebuild better than before, and take the opportunity to simultaneously construct the long-awaited Student Commons, a two-story dining hall, kitchen and library complex that will be second to none.
In the aftermath of the devastating Thomas Fire, we have the rare opportunity to rebuild in a manner that accentuates our identity, our connection to the outdoors, and our sense of community, while also innovating and enhancing our academic, co-curricular and residential programs, thus elevating OVS to a leadership position among independent schools globally.
But opportunities are only realized by taking action – and I’m thrilled to report that we are now on our way thanks to the generous gift of $1 million to our rebuilding campaign by The Aramont Foundation.
Alumna and past parent Lucila Arango (U84), as trustee of the Foundation, stepped forward this summer and secured this lead gift to inspire others to join in our campaign and to ensure that our dormitory, science and technology center, and commons are built together to truly create a new heart and hub of campus life. (Learn about Luci and her support of OVS in an article in our Family Tree magazine. Click here to read it online.)
Los Angeles-based architect Fred Fisher, a current parent, and his architectural team are developing designs for the new Aramont Science and Technology Center, the Grace Hobson Smith House dormitory, and the new Student Commons. Those initial schematic designs received unanimous approval by the OVS Board of Trustees in September, and we are well on our way to breaking ground on this exciting project in the coming year.
For now, I encourage all our alumni, past parents, new parents, students and faculty to join in our campaign to rebuild. Volunteer, make a donation or a multi-year pledge, or learn more about the RESTORE RENEW REBUILD effort by contacting our Development Office at (805) 646-1423 or through the new campaign website.
In the resilient spirit of OVS, the entire school community near and far made a commitment to reopen after the fire and continue the academic program from where it was interrupted. This determination was strongly supported by an immediate outpouring of generous contributions from alumni of every era, as well as parents and friends.
Our oak tree is ready to sprout new branches and foliage thanks to the generosity of our OVS family! We look forward to working together to provide an even better student experience for generations to come!