Developed over a 16-month period and including input from all of Suffield's constituents, the Strategic Plan for Suffield 2018 Onward helps shape our direction.
It has four sections:
- school culture
- academic programs
- finances & development
Features of the plan include a desired student enrollment target (410-420), embracing a range of academic profiles, sustaining commitments to several school traditions, having a student-centered and encouraging culture, and a focus on recruiting, supporting, and evaluating a talented faculty that is involved in all parts of school life. The plan outlines goals for academics, athletics, the arts, and the school’s focus on college counseling and leadership development. It also speaks to the goal of aggressively maintaining an outstanding physical plant.
This plan builds on Suffield’s mission statement and on several other documents the school uses to guide strategy and direction. These are extensive campus master plans, enrollment and admissions plans, multi-year budget parameters, and multi-year capital project and deferred maintenance plans. Suffield's strategic plan has eight overarching assumptions that help guide school philosophy.
- Suffield should continue to offer an educational environment where close relationships between students and faculty—and a general emphasis on community—are at the center of what we do.
- The school will provide a wide range of program offerings in academics, arts, and athletics, serving students with differing abilities and interests.
- Suffield believes in a model where faculty are involved in various aspects of students’ lives including academics, extracurricular activities, and community life.
- Suffield will continue to recruit, evaluate, and support outstanding faculty members.
- The school will seek to maintain an enrollment of 410 to 420 students with boarding capacity of no less than 280.
- Suffield will continue to make college counseling and leadership development (focused on character and social responsibility) high priorities in terms of time and resources.
- The school will continue to invest in the maintenance and growth of the physical plant to provide outstanding, well-maintained facilities.
- Future plans intend to honor the best of Suffield’s history while being responsive to change. When successfully implemented, this plan will ensure that the core values of Suffield remain. These include an emphasis on active involvement in the community by all members, leadership and social responsibility, and a structured and nurturing environment.
Suffield completed an extensive 2011 Campus Master Plan by opening the new Memorial Academic Center in September 2018. The 36,000 square-foot space houses 20 classrooms, the academic dean's office, technology center, marketing & communications department, academic support, and a faculty meeting room. A new entrance is accessible from the west side of the building, linking directly to the academic quadrangle. The stair towers are lined with glass, enabling natural light to penetrate the building from all angles. The top floor has a conference room with vast technology infrastructure and a terrace that overlooks the Suffield campus and Metacomet Ridge.
Memorial was originally constructed in 1854 and named “Middle Building.” It had a chapel, classrooms, and dormitory rooms for students and teachers. It closed around 1900 due to declining enrollment but was renovated in 1908 to include lights and running water. A central stairway went all the way to the fourth floor. In 1950 the Connecticut Baptists offered the Academy a grant for the rejuvenation of the Middle Building. The side staircases were added, the faculty room was moved to the first floor, and day student lockers were placed in the basement. A few years later the dormitory rooms were converted into classrooms. The building was rededicated as the Connecticut Baptist Memorial Building to honor this financial assistance.
The creation of a new, 21st century Memorial Building was a remarkable architectural and construction feat. The entire façade of the existing building facing east (toward Main Street) was retained, and a new structure was attached to it. It was designed by Harvey Kauffman Architects, who previously led architectural plans for Suffield’s Holcomb Science Building and Tremaine Visual Arts Center. Harvey’s compelling scheme for Memorial aimed to modernize the building while maintaining the traditional architectural feel of the Suffield campus. Tecton Architects also worked closely with the school, and FIP Construction served as the construction managers. Memorial incorporates current and forward thinking on optimum educational environments related to items such as light, furniture, teaching style flexibility, and opportunities for kinesthetic learning. It was funded entirely through gifts.