NEW LONDON, CT — Mitchell College has received a $1.1 million gift from the Aramont Foundation for its Red Barn project, which is believed to be the largest single gift in the college’s history.
According to a news release, the Red Barn ReImagined Initiative began in June 2016 to give new life to the iconic, 4,800-square-foot former dairy barn on Montauk Avenue by transforming it into a large, flexible gathering space for both students and the community.
The Mitchell College Select Chorus and Drama Society will use the space, as well as the Flock Theatre, New London’s innovative theater troupe and the college’s resident company. Flock, known for its adventurous productions of classical theater, will utilize the Red Barn year-round.
College President Janet Steinmayer said it is believed the $1.1 million gift is the single largest the college has ever received. It will go towards Red Barn reconstruction and interior amenities, including state-of-the-art technology, mezzanine storage and air-conditioning.
“We are proud to continue our support of Mitchell College and the educational experience they create through their ability-based approach,” Trustee of the Aramont Foundation Luci Arango said in a release. “It is important to us to make resources like the Red Barn available for students to explore, create and build on their strengths while at Mitchell.”
“We are so very grateful to the Aramont Foundation and the Arango family for their exceptional generosity and support of Mitchell College,” Steinmayer said in a release. “This gift will expand the usability of this beautiful space and make it a hub of social and cultural activity that also enhances experiential learning opportunities here on campus. The ability to take the Red Barn project from vision to reality so quickly is a sign of the tremendous excitement and momentum propelling Mitchell forward.”
Red Barn construction is slated for completion summer 2018.
The Red Barn ReImagined Initiative marked the beginning of the first phase of Mitchell College’s Campus Master Plan, a plan that will re-align the physical campus with the College’s mission and vision. Since 2016, more than 300 generous alumni, parents and friends have donated to the Red Barn project.
The Mitchell College Campus Master Plan, created in conjunction with Centerbrook Architects and influenced by alumni, parent, faculty and staff, and community member feedback, was designed to be implementable as discrete projects in a flexible order.
There are five primary focuses, with the reconstruction of the Red Barn being the first. The next project, the $2.8 million GameChanger Initiative, will kick off at the April 28, 2018 Tailgate & Celebrate event featuring NFL great Tony Dungy. This initiative will reconfigure the athletic fields and renovate facilities.
Future projects include building a Science and Sailing Center on the Thames River, establishing the Umbrella House as a central icon building, and creating a campus oval surrounded by small classroom buildings in the style of New England shingled cottages.
Photo credit: Shutterstock