MSOE Moves to Moorestown: Frequently Asked Questions
Why did you choose this property?
After a four year search, MSOE identified 631 Chester Ave in Moorestown as the perfect location for its permanent campus because of the size of the structure (just over 10,500 square feet), the 2,600 sq. foot carriage house and five acres of land that accompany the property. It was important to be mindful of distance for existing MSOE families and this location was just right for that too. The residence, though large, is still cozy and appropriately-divided for classrooms that can support a wide age range, honoring Lydia Stokes and the pedagogy of Maria Montessori. The existing home can be transformed into a school facility with relative ease and the grounds contain a greenhouse, a secret garden and a swimming pool - all of which support the larger goals of MSOE as a school that extends Montessori learning beyond the classroom walls.
Will you be approaching this project in phases?
Yes. There is much work to be done to bring the existing residence to code for use as a school and that is our immediate focus. Money raised in Phase One will go toward the installation of two fire hydrants and the work that surrounds that, a sprinkler system in the basement of the main building, a sprinkler system in the carriage house, a two-hour firewall, at least one ADA bathroom, a staircase fire escape for the carriage house, widening of the driveway, taking down and replacing trees, landscaping and a playground.
Once we have moved into the building and operations are underway, Phase Two will begin. The parameters of Phase Two are fluid and will reflect our enrollment at the time but generally focus on improvements to the main building to meet code, adjoining gardens and practical life outdoor extensions for the classrooms. Phase Two may potentially include the conversion of the left side of the house to “E” use.
Phase Three, which may also be adjusted depending on enrollment at the time, will focus on bringing the second floor of the residence to code for two additional classrooms.
What are the advantages of this move for students and families?
The Moorestown campus will allow MSOE to grow into the school it was always intended to be. While we have managed to grow and thrive in our current location, we believe the students deserve and are ready for more. The students will have larger classrooms with more natural light and space to move around and work independently. Teachers will have a dedicated lounge in which to work together and socialize during breaks throughout the day. The greenhouse and secret garden will provide hands-on experiences that help teach students to become stewards of the earth. The pool will allow us to incorporate swimming lessons and water fun into our summer programming.
What are the advantages for the Moorestown community?
We believe bringing an AMI-recognized Montessori school to Moorestown has a myriad of advantages for the community. Our students and their families will spend significant time in Moorestown, helping to support local businesses small and large. We offer current and future residents of Moorestown an alternative education option right in their backyard. Our after school and summer programs are open to all Moorestown residents, providing new and exciting options for families who may be looking for something to complement existing public or private school offerings. For many young families, living close to a Montessori school can be a driving force in the decision to buy property and lay roots in Moorestown.
How much money are you looking to raise?
The #msoemovestomoorestown team is looking to raise $700,000 by May 1st, 2019, which will help cover expected costs for most of Phase One, support a small portion of soft costs presently being incurred, plus help us to cover property tax for 2019. We will not have to pay property tax after 2019. Circumstances beyond our control forced us to not be able to open in time to not have to pay property taxes.