The mission of Ward School in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is to educate children and young people so that, aware of their transcendence and dependence on God, they can contribute to the society in which they live, with ethical and Christian values. The Ward school is a longtime partner of Global Ministries since the school’s founding at the beginning of the 20th century.
Over the last 15 years the Ward School has experienced a 60% increase in enrollment which has made it a challenge to meet the demands of this growing enrollment with the current space available on the campus. The school has continued to work within its budget to refurbish and expand the current school facilities. In recent years Ward School has refurbished several classrooms, constructed a dining room for the pre-school, refurbished the library, opened audio visual rooms, refurbished existing dining rooms, and expanded one of the current academic buildings.
To address the school’s growing need for space, Ward School launched a campaign to construct a multi-use building for use by the school and community. This building will be able to support and serve academic, artistic, and athletic purposes. Academically, this facility will be large enough to hold large portions of the student body and will allow for more of the school’s students to participate in events together. This facility also will be very useful for the Special School, and will allow that program to hold more inclusive sports and social activities in this large space, something that is not currently possible. The school plans to use this space as well to host activities for the families of students as well as alumni/ae, to further connect the Ward School community. Artistically, this facility will vastly expand the scope of the concerts that the school can hold, allowing for much larger audiences, up to 1,000 people, when fully completed. Ward School also hopes to make this space available to local organizations, such as churches connected with the school, for their musical and cultural events. This facility will be a premier athletic facility and will further support The Ward School’s excellent athletic programs, allowing the school to host matches for both its women’s and men’s handball teams, and welcome up to 1,000 people to enjoy these games. The new multi-use building facilitates the school engaging others in their athletic programing by hosting sports courses and trainings as well as provide a space for indoor summer camps. The Ward School is excited for the future of this building that will provide space for its growing academic, artistic, and athletic programs aswell as for the entire school and local communities.
The future multi-use building will be 3,073 square meters, seating will include 500 fixed grandstands built during the first stage, and additional 500 seats in folding stands built during a second stage. The flooring will be a wooden floating floor which will allow for multiple uses. The building will have a zinc-plated roof and thermal insulated walls, which will make it energy efficient. The building will have solar panels to help provide cost-efficient, clean energy, and the school is exploring the possibility of the building being heated through geothermal energy.
This capital campaign is a new and significant challenge for Ward School, and they are reaching out to historic church partners, alumns and others who are dedicated to quality, values-based education in Argentina. Please contact Global Ministries if you are interested in connecting with Ward School for opportunities to name a part of the new facility.
Update: June 2020
The Ward School has received funds to begin the multi-use building project. While the COVID-19 pandemic and the related quarantine measures have slowed or paused some work, the Ward School Board is using this time to identify ways to raise the remaining funds for the project. The board has created a campaign committee and has recruited volunteers to lead the committee. Going forward, the committee leaders hope to fill the rest of the positions soon. The committee has been working with a professional fundraising advisor, and when quarantine measures are lifted, this professional will help the committee in carrying out the campaign. Recently, three of the committee leaders completed a virtual course on fundraising to aid the committee in its work.
Prior to the pandemic, the Ward School Board began working with local government officials to complete the necessary permits and legal processes for the building project. When COVID-19 quarantine measures limited the work of the local government, these conversations were paused. When possible, the board hopes to finish the permitting process and hold a ceremony to formally begin the building project campaign.
The Committee looks forward to working with and generating enthusiasm from alums, friends, and the community. Some alums have volunteered already by sharing the news about this new project. Pablo Vainstein, an alum who played for the Argentinian Olympic handball team shared, The Ward School gave me the opportunity to qualify for the Argentinian Handball Olympic team. The School provided me with an education, taught me values, and introduced me to great friends. It is a school that trains people well for the future and generates great bonds of friendship. The relationships I have made at Ward School feel like family. I think in these times it is important to help the Ward School achieve the great dreams of completing this building project.