Campaign FAQs

The Building Together Campaign will support major improvements to Pembroke Hill’s Ward Parkway Campus.  Initially launched with several major leadership pledges, the campaign is entering the public phase in October 2019.  Groundbreaking is planned for May, 14 2020, with occupancy in late 2021.

Jess Rezac

What is being built?
The scope of work includes three significant building projects (new athletic center, new dining hall and reconfigured/renovated Hall Student Center), landscaping along with enhancements to the central quad.

What is the status of the campaign?
As of Feb. 14, 2020 , $48.5 million has been donated or pledged to the project in early and lead commitments toward a projected goal of $51.7 million.

What is the timetable for the project?
Groundbreaking will be in May 2020, with occupancy of the dining hall in August 2021, and the athletic center will open in December 2021.


How does this project support Pembroke Hill’s vision for athletics?
The new athletic center is designed to be accessible and available to all students on athletic teams, in PE classes and those interested in fitness and wellness.

Pembroke Hill has a robust athletic history; the school holds the second-highest number of state titles.  Today, 84 percent of upper school students and 76 percent of middle school students participate in athletics, boys and girls alike.

Why isn’t a swimming pool included?
Pools are very expensive to build.  Maintenance and staffing would require substantial increases in operating expenses.  Currently, the Pembroke Hill swim team practices at the UMKC pool.

Can the running track be enlarged?
No. The track cannot be enlarged as it is physically constrained by the Ward Parkway right-of-way.  Enlarging the width of the track, which currently has six lanes, would also affect parking capacity and the stadium field.

Will the school be able to host postseason play?
Yes. The new athletic center will allow us to host postseason play.


Why renovate the current dining facilities?
The Hall Student Center dining facilities - seating, serving and preparation - were originally sized for a student and adult population approximately half what it is today. Because of tight scheduling and service inefficiencies, students spend much of their lunch period waiting in lines.

Current facilities are not flexible; they do not support other activities such as parent meetings, student dances or alumni gatherings.  Neither the dining hall nor the second floor auditorium pre-function areas have ADA accessible restrooms.

What are the benefits of the new design?
The larger dining room and serving areas will allow for fewer and longer lunch periods offering time for socialization.  The enlarged capacity of the new dining hall can accommodate the entire middle school (300 students) in one seating (down from two), and the upper school (418 students) in two seatings.

Operationally, the new dining hall will offer increased flexibility in daily schedules; space to accommodate extra-curricular student events, such as dances, proms and student, alumni and faculty events previously held off-campus.

How will Hall Student Center be affected by the new dining hall?
The HSC auditorium itself will not be changed.  Programs and events held in the auditorium will be enhanced by improved access, the creation of a new lobby on the quad level and security improvements

The building will be completely ADA accessible with restrooms on both levels and an elevator.


Why renovate the quad?
The raised quad currently between Jordan Hall and Phillips Gym will be lowered by about eight feet, which will create a new, enlarged and level quadrangle formed by all the Ward Parkway Campus buildings, with the new dining hall and terrace forming the fourth enclosing side on the east.   These renovations will also create several outdoor classroom areas and gathering spaces.

Other Questions

What about parking?
There will be no loss of parking as the lot off 51st Street behind Hall Student Center will be reconfigured.

How has campus security been addressed?
Security will be improved.  Security considerations include a single-entry point on the 51st Street side of campus, adjacent to a staffed security station (located at the entrance to the athletic center), and a completely fenced Ward Parkway Campus. The security station will provide a view of all visitors arriving on this side of the campus.

What will happen to Pierson Gym?
Pierson Gym will be demolished.  Current plans are to keep this area as a lawn, possibly available for sports practices.

What academic needs are being addressed in this project?
New and flexible spaces will support a variety of academic programs including robotics, debate and other student activities.

How are you working with neighbors?
We are in regular communication with the Westwood neighborhood, and have begun a formal communication program with them.  Our first neighborhood meeting was in February 2019. We anticipate ongoing interaction with our neighbors as the project progresses.

The new facilities will also be available for neighborhood meetings.

Are these buildings going to be energy efficient?
The new facilities will be much more energy efficient than existing buildings.  Operating costs (utilities, custodial, insurance) are expected to increase by a little more than $200,000.


Will you finance this project with debt?
Our goal is to raise the entire amount needed through donations and avoid taking on a mortgage that would likely result in future tuition increases.

Will tuition be increased as a result of this building project?
We do not anticipate increasing tuition to support this project.  Our goal is for the cost of the project to be covered by donations.

Can we raise the funds needed for the project?
A campaign study by Marts and Lundy completed in February 2017 showed very strong interest in the project among Trustees, parents and alumni.

The building project has received substantial early support, with $48.5 million already committed (93.8 percent of current goal). A substantial amount is coming from families that had not previously participated at leadership levels.

Why should I donate if my children (or grandchildren) may not be attending when the building project is complete? 
Every family gives for their own reasons.  Here are some that have been compelling:

●    You will be able to see the results of your gift every time you drive by on Ward Parkway.  Gifts to capital improvements will endure and shape future generations of Pembroke Hill students and families.  

●    There is a clear need that cannot be satisfied through operations or annual fundraising.  The school cannot place the full cost of a large-scale capital improvement program into tuition and remain competitive.  

●    Current Pembroke Hill families have benefited from the generosity of past generations and supporting this culture of “giving forward” benefits everyone.  

●    Pembroke Hill plays a major role in attracting and retaining families who move to Kansas City and become part of the community.

●    Programs supported by improved facilities directly impact the daily student experience, allowing students to learn, interact and develop in an inspiring and uplifting environment.

What other fundraising plans do you have?
We do not anticipate another major capital campaign at this time.  Fundraising goals continue to be growth in the school’s endowment, Annual Fund and special programs.

How is the Board of Trustees supporting this project?
The Board has fully endorsed both the building program and the Building Together Campaign; each member has made a personal financial commitment to the campaign.

Current Board member Jonathan Kemper ’71 and past Board president David Kiersznowski are the Building Together Campaign co-chairs. A committee of four key Pembroke Hill stakeholders are serving on the campaign committee, including Jamie Copaken ’93, Jeff Hargroves, Christina Hogan ’85 and Hunter Wolbach ’93.