Gateway to the Future from DeLaSalle High School on Vimeo.

As surely as today’s students and families see DeLaSalle as a gateway to their future, so too should the entire school community envision and create a campus that welcomes students from every neighborhood and provides that gateway into the global society. DeLaSalle must seize this moment and look into the future: to renovate and create modern, on-campus facilities for current students and generations of Islanders to come.

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There is a terrific energy at DeLaSalle right now. The number of applications alone suggests that a lot of families want to join our community. All of us play an important role, working together to maximize the benefits of a Lasallian education for our current students, even while planning to be even better for generations to come. Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to move ahead toward an even better future at DeLaSalle.

The Center for Innovative Learning / Other Campus Enhancements

The centerpiece for campus expansion and renovation will be a new Center for Innovative Learning, to open by the fall of 2016. ** This project presents an opportunity to redesign the campus and do something that is long overdue: replace locker and weight rooms in the middle of the campus with modern and multi-dimensional classroom space. We should put new and innovative learning spaces – academic spaces — in the first floor corridor of the school, between the main entries.

Adding 8,800 square feet of learning space at the campus core helps keep average class sizes between 23-27 students and expands opportunities for innovative and necessary pedagogical approaches. Repositioning academics at the core of the campus allows for multi-departmental projects (such as robotics or multi-media production) in larger and less confined rooms.
Rather than add traditional classroom boxes, DeLaSalle will construct learning spaces that will enhance its current 1:1 technology program and college preparatory curriculum. We envision flexible laboratories for creative, activity- and project-based learning, spaces for multi-media production and inter-departmental instruction, and more.
Students will take the lead in discovering solutions with relevance to college and career goals. We are committed to partner with students as they broaden their learning, to delve deeper into hands-on discovery and development of collaborative and analytical skills. By creating multi-dimensional learning spaces, teachers will be better equipped to lead students in areas of investigation, problem-solving and critical analysis.
This type of project also presents an opportunity to link all three buildings on campus more effectively. We’re better positioned to add other facility additions — and connect them to a more logical flow of parking and hallway traffic.  Moving storage and locker rooms to a new place on the north end of the campus better connects those spaces to the new athletic field and existing gymnasiums.
Our heating and electrical systems for much of the current campus must be replaced; doing that as part of a larger project is far more cost effective than done separately.

“Gateway to the Future” Campaign is Off to a Great Start

There are two key components to the “Gateway to the Future” campaign at DeLaSalle. Over the next five years, we seek to raise capital gifts toward construction of the Center for Innovative Learning and other campus expansion and enhancements, while increasing support for financial assistance programs by at least five percent.

As the “Gateway to the Future” campaign is launched, we have great news to report. From only the first 13 gifts made to the campaign as of December 1, 2014, we have already received commitments in excess of $6,500,000 toward the Center for Innovative Learning and campus improvements. This includes a lead gift of $2,500,000 from longtime benefactors, David ’55 and Marlys Thies, as well as two lead gifts of $1,000,000 apiece from highly respected local foundations, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and the David and Barbara Koch Family Foundation, pledges that are to be paid during the course of the campaign and on-campus construction.

We are excited to report that, not only have we have received a commitment from the Richard M. Schulze Family foundation for a matching grant of up to $1,000,000, but we already have met the challenge and matched the value of the grant with gifts and pledges from other donors.  All proceeds from this grant and the challenge match will go toward the construction of the Center for Innovative Learning.  We enthusiastically acknowledge the generosity of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, partners with DeLaSalle as we best prepare our students to contribute to college and careers in coming years.  Our current appreciation is only surpassed by our vision of what we will be able to do in the future with the support of the Schulze Foundation.

Longtime supporters, David and Barbara Koch, have continued their support for DeLaSalle with a grant from their Foundation to be used for either new facilities or increase financial assistance programs. Longtime supporters of the Brother Michael Collins Legacy Scholarship Fund (formerly called Lasallian Mentors). Mr. and Mrs. Koch made the lead gift gift toward the construction of the LL Gray Gymnasium addition and related campus improvements in 2001.
With tremendous gratitude, we are thrilled to receive a commitment from David ’55 and Marlys Thies for a legacy gift of $2,500,000 toward the “Gateway to the Future” campaign. It’s fair to say that we would not be talking of DeLaSalle’s future had Dave Thies ’55 not rolled up his sleeves and helped pull the school out of the mire of a not-too-distant past. Dave “returned” to DeLaSalle in 1990, when enrollment and fundraising were each at 25-year lows, the operating deficit was building, and potential closure was imminent. He co-chaired the successful “Continuing the Tradition” campaign from 1990-91, one of the first major steps toward the resurgence of DeLaSalle. in the quarter-century since, not only has Dave been a significant volunteer fundraiser at De, working with administrators and trustees to raise millions toward school academic and financial assistance programs, but he and Marlys have become the top benefactors in school history.