About Us

Our Future

Now is the time to take the next step and secure the permanent home for the Village School, a place where students can pursue their study of nature, where students can learn forestry practices, where students can grow vegetables and fruit, where students can raise chickens and care for animals, where carpentry and woodworking skills can meet math and create new structures. Our vision includes the Village School as a community resource, both in the development of daylong school visits from public school classes for nature exploration, gardening, and nature arts, and in the development of after school programs for all ages.

Plan
In the summer of 1998 Millers River Educational Cooperative, Inc. successfully raised the funds necessary to purchase the former “Camp Caravan” property in Royalston, as the future home of the Village School. This property contains all the elements that will help fulfill the aim of nurturing a love of nature in children. Camp Caravan consists of approximately 55 acres, including an old apple orchard, a pond, a sugar maple bush, old camp buildings, and a varied ecosystem. The new school building will be the heart of the educational campus, and the existing buildings will ultimately be renovated to form a unified educational setting for a multitude of practical educational activities for all ages. Plans are underway to develop a nature program for handicapped children and adults, including a nature trail for the handicapped.

Momentum

Black River Architects has designed a 9,000 sq. ft. building that reflects the Village School connection with nature.
 
In the summer of 2008, site work commenced. Many local contractors and companies were involved in the site work.  While the site was being cleared, tops of trees were chipped on the site and taken to Mount Wachusett Community College to be used as fuel in their biomass heating system.  Stumps were ground up and used as a wetland barrier.  Good logs were selected for milling.  Specimen trees were saved wherever possible and buffer of trees were maintained along the road.
 
Trees were harvested and selected for on-site milling, producing oak and pine lumber that will be used in the finished building.  Soils were cleared and augmented to enhance drainage.  A Public Water Supply well was installed and approved. The site for the building was prepared.
 
Black River Architects has completed the drawings and specifications for all components of the project, including utilities, site work, building envelope and finishes, heating, ventilation, electrical, plumbing and life safety systems. 
 
During 2008 the project received approval form the Royalston Planning Board and Conservation Commission.  In February 2009 the architects submitted the construction documents for building permit review.  The construction documents have been reviewed and the permit will be issued when the application is submitted.  The project is ready to begin within 6 weeks of a notice to proceed.  We are ready to begin construction. 
 
Phase II began September 2015 to raise $1,500,00 to build the first five classrooms. New construction begins this May, 2016.
 
The Village School students already visit the Camp Caravan site regularly, for pond and vernal pool studies, wildlife studies and nature hikes.  It is already a home away from home.  We appreciate your good wishes, and any gifts that can help the school realize its vision of a permanent home. 

Find out more about the new building project >>

Outline of building principles
The continuing educational vision upon which the Village School was founded is concerned with the waste of natural resources prevalent in the world. The school building will reflect energy conservation principles and sustainable design. Natural, recycled, and, sustainable materials and technologies will be given a first priority in the new building. This will also give students the opportunity to participate in a study of energy conservation in real systems.

Final Proof (click image to enlarge)

Directions::

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Contact Information::

Email: info@villageschoolma.org
Phone: 978.249.3505