Community School’s residential program, founded in 2011, allows students from all around the country and around the world to enjoy the many benefits of the school and its unique programs. January 2017 saw the residential program transformed with the opening of the Ketchum Campus. Located minutes from the main Trail Creek campus, Bald Mountain, Dollar Mountain, and Nordic trails in the heart of historic Ketchum, this soaring, modern building represents an evolution for the Community School Residential Program.
The facility itself is 25,085-square-feet, and offers tremendous flexibility in regard to the use of interior spaces. It matches the quality of the school’s Trail Creek Campus and offers designated spaces for dining, gathering, studying, training, living, and much more. The second floor of the spacious building houses the residences. These consist of six suites, each with three two-bedroom pods that share a common room and en suite bathroom facilities. Two resident assistant apartments, a common lounge, and a study space complete this level. The residences are filled with natural light, and offer breathtaking views over Bald Mountain. A soaring entry connects the first floor to the residential spaces. This is a far cry from a traditional dorm featuring cinderblock walls, cramped spaces, and one bathroom on each floor!
The first floor of the new facility will be a campus and community hub. A welcoming dining hall accommodates 65 people: all the members of the residential community plus approximately 20 guests at any given time. The dining hall will be the heart and soul of the building. Chef Tracey Caraluzzi knows delicious, nutritious food and prepares every meal with great care and expertise.
An adjacent gathering area and student lounge offers a big screen television to watch World Cup events, play games, as well as places to simply relax. This will be a communal hub for all students and athletes to gather and spend time together.
Everyone is extremely excited about another part of the first-floor design: a 3,500-square-foot Athletes’ Training Center that serves as a major hub at the new Residence Hall. Modeled after the USSA’s Center for Excellence in Park City, Utah, the training center encompasses a full third of the first floor. The state-of-the-art facility contains spin bikes, weight training equipment, a track lane, and a large open space for stretching, yoga, or Zumba classes taught by faculty member Calysta Phillips. The facility is available to all age-appropriate SVSA and SVSEF athletes and creates a center of gravity for the entire community. Other teams, from soccer to basketball to tennis also use this gym to train for their seasons, and it is available to all faculty and staff.
This exciting part of the project builds on an already strong relationship between the Community School and SVSEF. With the launch of its Residential Program and SVSA, Community School deepened its partnership with the SVSEF to deliver a coordinated program of exemplary academics and superior winter sports training to aspiring high school student-athletes. The partnership develops new resources to support student-athletes educationally and athletically and allows both organizations to expand their programs with the enrollment of students and athletes from around the nation and world.
A fabulous dorm family oversees residential life. Nancy Parsons-Brown and David Brown serve as Directors of Residential Life. Nancy and David are deeply invested in Community School. Nancy has been a member of the faculty for more than 25 years, teaching Middle School French, serving as the Teacher Training Academy coordinator, a coach, mentor, and integral member of the eighth grade team. David is an accomplished attorney, writer, and avid woodworker. They live on the first floor of the Residential Hall and act as surrogate parents to the boarding community.
Joining Nancy and David to create a strong presence in the dorm are Tracey Caraluzzi, Residence Hall Chef, George Heinrichs, Upper School History teacher, a fine team of Teacher Training Academy interns who also serve as Residential Advisors. The dorm family provide adult supervision, oversee meals and study halls, help organize weekend and evening activities, and serve as sounding boards for students struggling with academic, athletic, and social challenges. Boarding students are fully integrated into the day-to-day activities and participate in activities all their own, such as paintball competitions and impromptu s’mores parties. They are also assigned a local host family with whom they spend time during the year. Our goal is to make sure that each student is fully assimilated into the life of the school and the community and enjoys a warm and home-like environment for families seeking a high-quality boarding program.
The Ketchum Campus allows for an expanded and enhanced Residential Program that will have a major impact on the school and the Wood River Valley. The new Residence Hall provides improved facilities and room for the program to grow from a current enrollment of 22 students to 40. The attractive and conveniently located facility will provide a warm and home-like environment for families seeking a high-quality boarding program.