July 12, 2017
Dear St. Christopher's School Community,
If you visit us later this summer, you will notice enhancements to the following areas of our campus: new sidewalks on Wesley and St. Christopher’s Road; additional parking in the Luck Leadership Center (LLC) parking lot; enhancements to the Admissions Office and the Lower School Auditorium; improved landscaping around campus, including new greenspace at the Lower School entrance on Pepper Avenue.
In addition, there are two major parking and campus traffic projects planned for this summer and fall that I am pleased to announce at this time.
Just two weeks ago, St. Christopher’s received full approval from the city of Richmond to move forward with long-desired plans to reconfigure the Fergusson Road access to our Middle School and Luck Leadership Center, as well as to relocate, pave, and properly landscape the parking lot that is presently located at the intersection of Henri Road and Fergusson Road (the “junior lot”).
By reconfiguring Fergusson Road, we will nearly double the length of the Middle School carpool lane (moving carpool traffic off of public thoroughfares and closer to campus buildings), and create a paved parking lot closer to the Middle School. Doing so will simultaneously achieve three objectives: improve vehicular safety, improve pedestrian safety, and reduce congestion created by our carpool lines. We have contracted with the accomplished landscape architects of Waterstreet Studio
to beautify the entire southern portion of our campus, bringing it to a similar standard of aesthetics as the rest of our campus.
We expect work on the Fergusson Road project to begin as early as next week, starting with the removal of many trees that are presently located near the Fergusson and Henri Roads intersection. While we never remove mature trees unless it is absolutely necessary, it is important to note that we are working with Waterstreet Studio to ensure that we replace those lost trees in both quantity and canopy coverage. In fact, we will be planting nearly double the number of trees as are removed.
We anticipate that this project will take approximately four months to complete, meaning that the “junior lot” and surrounding area will likely be inaccessible until or through November. The administration and faculty at St. Christopher’s have been discussing this scenario through much of the 2016-2017 school year, and we have a plan for temporary Middle School drop-off, junior parking, and vehicular and pedestrian circulation that we will share in August, before school begins.
I am also pleased to announce the planned launch of another parking, landscaping, and pedestrian-access improvement for this coming fall. Pending city approval, we intend to undertake a comprehensive enhancement of the section of St. Christopher’s Road that abuts Jacobs Field, next to Henri Road (closer to Patterson Avenue). We have partnered with Waterstreet Studio and the City of Richmond to design a new parking configuration that will provide up to 19 back-in angled parking spots, new landscaping and lighting, and sidewalk access to the Athletic Center and the Upper School. We hope to have this particular project completed by early September.
We are fortunate that all of these projects are able to be fully funded by physical plant reserves accumulated over a number of years and not through the School’s general operating budget. Recognizing that there is a great deal of new information provided in this letter, later this summer we will provide an additional update with even more specific information about parking and traffic flow for our fall opening. In the meantime, should you have questions about any of these plans, you are welcome to contact me, our Director of Capital Projects Katie Chernau, or our CFO/Business Manager David Reynolds.