Community Commons Building Planned with Proceeds from Kingswood Oxford ‘Seize the Day’ Capital Campaign

North elevation rendering of Kingswood Oxford's proposed new Community Commons building. Courtesy of Kingswood Oxford

Kingswood Oxford in West Hartford is planning a state-of-the art Community Commons building, and investment in faculty and programming through the ‘Seize the Day’ Capital Campaign.

Rendering of the Flex Room at Kingswood Oxford’s proposed new Community Commons building. Courtesy of Kingswood Oxford

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Kingswood Oxford School has announced the public launch of the “Seize the Day” Capital Campaign, with plans to invest the proceeds to transform the existing library and dining hall into a state-of-the-art Community Commons as well as fund efforts to attract and retain faculty and develop inspirational new academic and student life programming for a new generation of students.

The target of the campaign is $22 million, but in an announcement Monday school officials said the leadership phase, launched in November 2023, achieved 100% participation from the board and several major lead gifts, and has already raised $17.2 million. They expect the campaign to surpass the initial goal.

“We are thrilled to have outpaced our expectations at this point,” Head of School Tom Willow said in an announcement. “We anticipate garnering significant funds to exceed our goal of $22 million as we now head into our public phase, where we will reach out to our community. The 100% board giving, the high six and a seven hundred thousand dollar lead gifts and two million dollar lead gift, and several large planned gifts demonstrate the community’s belief in our mission to inspire students to excel and to lead lives of integrity and involvement. Every day, we strive to deliver on that promise, and every dollar in the Seize the Day campaign impacts our students directly and will create an even better experience for them.”

Brad Hoffman ’78 and Gayle Temkin P’23 and ’25 are co-chairs of the campaign.

“The campaign’s three pillars, people, program, and place, align with our strategic vision so that each student flourishes at KO,”Hoffman said in the announcement. “The Community Commons, which will open in August 2025, reflects the smart recycling of our existing library and dining hall and will provide flexible workspaces that promote the collaborative learning required in today’s interconnected world. The dual investment in the heart of our school – the people and programs – remains a top priority and is critical to the success of our students today and in their future lives.”

Rendering of the library at Kingswood Oxford’s proposed new Community Commons building. Courtesy of Kingswood Oxford

“As a parent, board member, and campaign co-chair, I am fortunate to see the school from different vantage points,” commented Temkin. “My two daughters have flourished at KO through the guidance and dedication of our teachers. I am pleased the campaign supports and recognizes the faculty who do so much for our students. I’m excited to see the new Community Commons, which will provide a state-of-the-art learning environment.”

Other members of the campaign committee, which includes alumni and parents, are: Jeff Gitlin ’85, P’11,’13, ’17; Mary Martin ’77, P’17, ’20; Gil Keegan ’88, P’22, ’25, ‘27; Head of School Tom Dillow; and Director of Advancement Dina Plapler. Marc Shafer ’75, P’15, ’17 and Avery Rockefeller III P’00, ’02 are the emeriti leads.

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