History of MCMS
Madison Community Montessori School opened its new location in the fall of 2012. We now call this beautiful, nearly 22,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Montessori facility our home. Approximately 185 students from 15 months to 14 years of age eagerly arrive each day to quench their thirst for knowledge. 2012 marked our 40th year of providing Madison area children a rich Montessori experience and exceptional education.
The story behind the beautiful building:
Soon after the DOT announced plans for the Beltline-Verona Road interchange’s improvements, MCMS learned definitively that the school’s building would be demolished forcing us to vacate by July, 2012. The Board tackled the relocation by obtaining and evaluating proposals from a number of local area developers. The list was eventually narrowed down to two and one was ultimately named as our next home.
The hard work began of coming to terms to construct a new facility inside the Beltline; however, in August of 2010, the initial developer pulled out due to his own financial constraints. After dealing with the loss of months of work, the Board quickly shifted gears and explored the second option – to refurbish a building on the Westside of Madison. In the end, it was determined that the cost required to convert the church into a school that met the programming needs of MCMS necessitated a level of capital investment that was not financially sound or feasible for the school.
Because both options from the initial shortlist had been exhausted, the Board re-initiated the search for properties and partners in the fall of 2010. Nick Ladopoulos of Progressive Designs/All Star Properties came forward with a very attractive proposal on a 2.6 acre parcel of land in the Town of Middleton. Mr. Ladopoulos is an alumni parent and long-time supporter of the school, and owned (in conjunction with other partners) the building the school had been renting for nearly 20 years along the Beltline. Given the peaceful, attractive site which overlooks a prairie, the prospect for the school to own immediately rather than rent (as all previous plans offered) and the favorable financing terms offered by Mr. Ladopoulos, the Board unanimously voted to pursue this opportunity.
And so it began!
In January of 2011, the school received approval from the Town of Middleton for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP), and two months later, we received approval from Dane County. By April, we had preliminary drafts of the site plans ready for the Town’s Planning Commission, who granted its approval in early May. The property officially changed hands in July of 2011 and financing was approved in September. We then broke ground for our future home. By mid-October, the foundation was complete and by early winter, thanks to the warm winter weather, much progress had been made. The plans for the classrooms were being fine tuned. The floors were soon finished and polished. The first floor, then the second floor and finally the roof were constructed by mid-December.
By the middle of January 2012, the building was completely enclosed. Staff and Board members were able to tour the school for the first time. The enthusiasm and excitement were contagious – spreading smile by smile from one face to another.
In late February, the decision was made to change the name of the school in an effort to best match our new location, and we became Madison Community Montessori School. In March, as the painting was completed inside the new school building, we launched our new school logo, also marking our 40 years of rich history.
In April, we received the final approval from the Town of Middleton on the school’s site plan. The donors to the school’s “Opening New Doors to Lifelong Learning” campaign, who by their generous commitment helped to make this a reality, began touring the beautiful facility and by June we were enjoying the site from afar as the school hosted its end-of-year potluck at the park across the street.
On June 26, we officially moved from the Beltline location and brought truckloads and truckloads of Montessori materials to our brand new home. On August 28, we thanked all of those who made this new building possible at a very special donor reception, followed by a public Ribbon Cutting and Relocation Celebration.
September 4, 2012 was our first day of school at 8406 Ellington Way – our new home.