Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Waitsfield, Vermont offers over 80 hands-on courses per year in design, construction, woodworking, and architectural craft and offers a variety of courses concentrating in sustainable design. Now in its 35th year, Yestermorrow is one of the only design/build schools in the country, teaching both design and construction skills. Our hands-on 1-day to 3-week workshops, certificate programs and semester programs are taught by top architects, builders, and craftspeople from across the country. For people of all ages and experience levels, from novice to professional.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Master Planning Update

We have been forging ahead with our master planning process over the past few months, and I want to give a quick update on where we are and where we’re headed.

First, we want to thank everyone who sent feedback in November in response to the design we presented at the faculty meeting and board meeting. The Core Team (made up of Kinny Perot, Robin Morris, John Connell, Gillian Davis, Kathy Meyer and myself) has met almost weekly since then to address some of the questions that were raised, to gather more data, and to meet with the Waitsfield Design Review Board. Getting their initial feedback helped us to understand the permit process and where we needed to focus our efforts going forward.

We certainly haven’t answered all the questions – this is an ongoing and iterative process – but we’ve made a lot of progress. Our goal right now is to get a zoning permit application together to submit to the town in April. To do that, we’ve hired experts to support us in additional surveying, CAD work, and storm water system design. Then next up will be additional design and permitting for wastewater and Act 250. While we certainly don’t want the whole process to be permit driven, we do know that we need to have these permits in place in order for us to start construction on any campus projects, and we are hoping to complete a small greenhouse project this summer. Additional planning and design work will continue through the spring, summer and fall as we get into a higher level of detail on many of the different aspects of the campus design.
In terms of phasing and priority, the first projects on our list are semester program classrooms and lodging, so that we can bring these new programs onto our campus. Also at the top of the list is replacing our intern housing. We’re hoping that many of these projects can be designed and built by students.

The focus of our work in 2012 will be to continue to iterate and develop our campus design, and lay the groundwork through permitting and strategic planning to start to raise funds to realize our long term vision for Yestermorrow.

For more information about our master plan and process, I encourage you to check out the blog we’ve created specifically for sharing notes and documents at, specifically created to keep the entire process transparent and inclusive. John Connell and I hosted a webinar on February 22nd to share the plans and answer questions from the Yestermorrow community. You can watch a recording of the presentation and Q&A online (it's just over an hour long).

As always, if you have questions about our master planning process and how we’re moving forward, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Kate Stephenson, Executive Director

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