Malvern Bank Partners With Woodlynde School to Create an Innovative, New Campus

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Image via Woodlynde School.
The new Student Commons at Woodlynde School.

A major campus upgrade at the Woodlynde college prep school in Strafford is just the kind of project Malvern Bank likes to put its financial expertise behind.

The Woodlynde School is dedicated to empowering K-12 students with learning differences to become strategic thinkers and self-advocates in a challenging and supportive college prep environment.

Helping private schools create an environment where students can thrive is a favorite project of the bank’s CEO and President, Tony Weagley, said Malvern Bank Senior Vice President Mark Cohen.

The bank has helped over 25 college preparatory schools with more than $100,000 in loans and investment expertise, according to the mymalvernbank.com website.

Most of Woodlynde’s $10.5 million campus upgrade is covered by a capital project fundraising campaign, which is in the process of raising $7 million. 

Malvern Bank has pledged to finance the rest. “We’ve been with them for quite some time now,” Cohen says. “We’re really happy to see this project come to fruition.”

“Malvern Bank has helped facilitate the beautiful transformation of our school’s campus. They’ve been a wonderful partner throughout the project,” said Woodlynde School’s Head, Amy Clemons.

It’s all part of Malvern’s wish to give back to the community.

The Project

Woodlynde School’s integrated campus, completed this fall, takes advantage of natural light with expanded spaces that support the academic and social lives of students, while encouraging community engagement.

Woodlynde’s capital project is doing more than just renovating the campus. It’s transforming it.

The school broke ground May 22, 2019, contracting with the Philadelphia-based architectural firm, Arc Bohlin Cywinski Jackson for the design, working with project manager Becker & Frondorf of Philadelphia and the construction firm of W.S. Cumby.

“Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is well known for its beautifully-designed structures that factor in function and utility as well as aesthetic appeal. They really put a lot of thought into how the new buildings would work with our existing spaces,” said Clemons.

Clemons said it was important to create space on campus that gives the students “beautiful places to learn and to feel good while they’re learning.”

A Student Commons serves students of all ages, with seating for meals, and gathering areas for performances, lectures, movie nights and socials. The Commons includes an art gallery, a 2-story atrium and outdoor seating for 20 to 40 people.

“The Commons will impact students from the beginning of their day to the end of their day with a structure that encourages socialization and social emotional learning,” stated Clemons.

With its tall windows and reflective exterior, the Student Commons has significantly improved the school’s curb appeal and is a welcome sight to both visitors and passersby.

There will be six new classrooms for grades 9-12, creating dedicated spaces for the Humanities and STEM. “These new classrooms were built to accommodate the growing demand for Upper School enrollment,” explained Clemons.

There will also be:

  • Three new learning specialist suites.
  • An innovation studio for grades 6-12.
  • A music studio for grades 6-12.
  • Four outdoor learning areas.
  • A new grass and stone Amphitheater for outdoor performances, classrooms and student use.
  • A new playground.
  • A new Reading Garden.

Outdoor spaces were a key part of Woodlynde School’s transformation as well, given the school’s focus on providing students with a holistic education. “Our outdoor spaces were built to encourage social emotional learning, mindfulness, and to give students a way to express themselves,” Clemons remarked. “They have had the added benefit of offering students safe spaces to learn and gather during the pandemic.”

Senior Vice President Mark Cohen appreciates the extra effort that the Woodlynde School offers its students.

“All it takes is a little bit of additional support and a different focus and it makes a world of difference how successful they are in school and everything else.”

Learn more about Woodlynde School campus transformation by visiting here.

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