IWA ‘building for future’ with campus expansionPublished 10:30am Friday, October 4, 2013
ISLE OF WIGHT—Though site work has already begun, Isle of Wight Academy performed a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for its future Early Learning Center.
The building will have six classrooms and a commons area for pre-school through kindergarten students, said Mary-Margaret Wells, director of development at IWA.
This new space for youngsters is part of a three-pronged $1.2 million ongoing capital campaign titled “Building for the Future.”
“We’re a pay-as-you-go school,” said Mike King, president of the board of directors. “We always get the majority of the money and we’re almost there.”
The second part is the gymnasium, the only original part of the school, which opened in 1967. That building will get what Wells called “a facelift.” She added that heating and air conditioning as well as other interior work have already been completed.
The third portion is landscaping and will unite those parts with the rest of the campus.
King mentioned that even the IT infrastructure will get updated.
“This is an emotional project for people,” Wells said. “It’s the completion of what they want the school and campus to be.”
The learning center is anticipated to be ready by August next year, according to Robert Hudson, project manager for C.W. Brinkley Construction from Suffolk. He expects concrete and foundation work to start as soon as next week.
“We’re excited to be here and be a part of Isle of Wight Academy,” Hudson said. “We get to work with a really good design.”
Present for the ceremony were five people with long-lasting ties to the school, beginning with Nell and W.B. Owen, who have two grandchildren attending IWA. Nell Owen taught for 27 years, including both sixth grade and business. W.B. Owen is one of only two surviving original board members; O.A. Spady is the other.
“Two or three people organized the school, and they asked people around to serve,” said W.B. Owen. “Robert L. Magette asked me.”
Dwight Doggett Jr. and Mike Doggett, the sons of co-founder A. Dwight Doggett Sr., also participated in the ceremony; Dwight Jr. is on the board of directors.
They collectively remembered their father involved with “a little of everything” when it came to the academy. In addition to their also attending IWA, Dwight has had two children graduate, and Mike has had three.
“We’ve always had long-term goals [for the school],” said King, who is Spady’s son. “This is exciting.”