Leaders at the private Maumee Valley Country Day School in South Toledo plan to build an on-campus residence hall to board both international and regional high school students.
The $1.5 million facility school officials announced Thursday will be tucked back in a wooded area on the east side of the school's 75 acres, and will provide living quarters for 28 students in the ninth through 12th grades, both from abroad as well as regional students who attend the school from farther distances, said Gary Boehm, head of school.
Officials expect the boarding hall, scheduled to open next August for the 2013-14 school year, to boost the high school's international student population to 20 percent of its overall enrollment.
"The whole idea of this boarding school is to add to our global integration, not create something separate," said Jarin Jaffee, Maumee Valley's director of admissions.
Contractor Rudolph/Libbe Inc. is expected to start building the residence hall, approved last week by the school's board of trustees, sometime this fall, Mr. Boehm said.
The school, which was founded in Toledo in 1884 as the Smead School for Girls, moved to its current campus on Reynolds Road in 1934, when it also changed its name and became coeducational.
Maumee Valley had 490 students -- its largest enrollment in 20 years -- when this semester's classes began Aug. 21, Mr. Boehm said. Thirty members of this year's student body are from foreign countries and live with host families in about 20 homes in Maumee.
The school established a global education program seven years ago to expand its mission of global integration, the head of school said.
Foreign students have come to Maumee Valley from China, Korea, Taiwan, France, Germany, Lithuania, Spain, and Sweden.
The program includes the addition of language courses and other curriculum, annual speakers for themed programs, global scholarship opportunities, and Sister School programs in Ecuador, Sweden, and China. But the school's international recruiter determined an additional need during travels abroad, Mr. Boehm said.
"What she has learned is families who want on-campus housing for their kids wouldn't consider us without that," he said.
The two-story hall will include a mix of single and double rooms, with boys on one floor and girls on the other; a large open common area, and an outside patio. One apartment will be built on each floor of the hall to house adult resident supervisors.
Although much smaller in scale, the boarding hall is the school's second infrastructure project within the last four years.
In November, 2008, Maumee Valley announced a project to build a new high school and move its entire facility -- which also includes preschool through middle school programs -- under one roof. At the time, it was the largest capital campaign in school history, supported by a $12 million fund-raising drive.
The new project will not require a fund-raising campaign, however. Construction costs and future programming -- which officials estimate will cost between $250,000 and $300,000 -- will be financed from students' room-and-board fees and will not affect tuition, officials said.
Student tuition this year ranges from $13,000 for the preschool program to $17,300 for the upper high-school grades.
International students currently pay $32,000 to attend the school, which includes tuition, host-family fees, and supplemental costs such as English language courses, Mr. Jaffee said.
Room-and-board fees for the new facility will be set annually by the board of trustees and will not differ between domestic and international students, Mr. Jaffee said.
The decision to provide just 28 beds was intentional, school officials said. Mr. Boehm stressed that local families who enjoy the experience of having an exchange student stay with them will still be able to do that.
The hope, he said, is that the residence hall will attract a mix of some of the 40 international students Maumee Valley expects to enroll, once the facility is available, and some of its regional students, who now commute from more than an hour away or live in nearby apartments during the week with their families.
Ideally, international students will spend one year with a local family and up to three years in the hall, Mr. Boehm said.
"This is not a traditional exchange-student program in that [these international students] come here to graduate," he said.
Although international students' room and board fees and tuition will be put back into the project, school officials said they expect a return on the investment to the community in the form of families visiting the area and spending money.
"We estimate bringing in between $1.5 and $2 million in revenue annually to this area," Mr. Boehm said. "We are happy to be contributing to the economy in this part of town."
Contact Roberta Redfern at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6081.