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A Special Message to Clarke Alumni

October 26, 2010

To:          Clarke Alumni

From:     Bill Corwin, President

Re:         Northampton Campus Update #2

Last month I wrote to you and held a meeting to share information about the Clarke Trustees’ ongoing evaluation of our space needs and the future of our historic Northampton campus. I told you that I would be communicating with you about the campus as openly and as often as possible. Today, I am writing to you to update you on what happened at the Trustees’ meeting that was held this past weekend.

There are four things that I want to tell you. First, Clarke is serving more children today than at any time in our 143-year history. But we need much less campus space because most of the children are under the age of 6, mainstreamed by first grade, and are receiving Clarke services in their homes and neighborhood schools, rather than on our campus.

Second, at Saturday’s Board meeting, Clarke’s Trustees agreed to invite proposals from interested parties for reusing and/or repurposing the parts of the property that we no longer need for our school programs. Over the next few months, Clarke will write a Request for Proposals (RFP) that will be sent out early in 2011. An RFP is a document that describes the property and buildings and asks people to give us their ideas for how they would redevelop it. The Board chose to send out an RFP instead of listing the property with a real estate broker because we want to be actively involved in deciding what happens to the parts of the campus that we won't be using. The RFP will be a public document and I will be happy to send you a copy when it is ready.

Third, nothing is going change on our campus in the near future. This will be a long process. Once the RFP is issued, it typically takes many months for a proposal to be selected and sometimes years before any construction begins. And given the uniqueness of our property as well as the poor condition of the economy and real estate market, no one knows for sure just how long this process will take.

Fourth, I hope that you have heard about The History Project by now. Before anything changes on our campus, we will be collecting, archiving and preserving Clarke's historical items, and most importantly, your memories and accomplishments, which are the best way to tell the story of Clarke’s distinguished history.  Early next year we will start the first phase of The History Project with a series of online communications and open meetings for all alumni to share their ideas about the vision and goals for this exciting initiative.

The best way for you to stay informed on the future of the Northampton property and The History Project is to visit our website. www.clarkeschools.org, and register to receive email updates. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at bcorwin@clarkeschools.org or Bob Storm, Alumni Liaison, at alumniliaison@clarkeschools.org. I am grateful for your support of Clarke during this time of change.

More Information

About Clarke

President's Letter dated September 15

Questions and Answers About the Northampton Campus