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Solebury School holds ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate Hope Hall dormitory


Solebury School held its official ribbon cutting and reception May 5 for Hope Hall, its first residential addition since 1998.

The ceremony marked the official dedication of the dormitory, which opened for students in the fall of 2023. Supporters, constituents, staff, faculty, and special guests attended the ceremony to celebrate the occasion.

“We arrive at this moment having remained steadfast and focused on our strategic plan and its long-term vision,” said Tom Wilschutz, head of school. “The plan began in 2016 with growth, development, and change goals. Two years later, phase one started with the Shaping Solebury capital campaign. We set ambitious campaign targets with an even more ambitious timeline, then systematically focused on bringing them to fruition. The addition of Hope Hall and an upgraded infrastructure will support our students, faculty, and facilities now and into the future.”

Hope Hall, a prime example of sustainable living, has set a new standard in Bucks County. It is the county’s first and one of Pennsylvania’s first Phius Core certified Passive House multi-residential buildings. This architectural structure, designed by Metcalfe Architecture & Design, houses a 32-bed student dormitory and four faculty apartments. The planning for Hope Hall began as part of a 30-year strategic plan, marking a significant milestone in Solebury School’s history. The success of Shaping Solebury also funded the installation of the wastewater treatment plant with microbioreactor technology (MBR).

The ceremony began with opening remarks from Liz Wavle P’11, chair of the board of trustees. The program included speeches from Head of School Tom Wilschutz, Karis Rattray, Class of 2025, and Dan Cohen, Class of 1963, who served as the campaign chair for Shaping Solebury. State Rep. Tim Brennan presented Solebury with a citation for the achievement. Guests enjoyed food and drinks and toured the common room, where the donor recognition wall and dedication signage displayed the community’s support.

“One of the primary reasons for building Hope Hall, aside from the need for a new girls’ dorm, is to put Solebury on the path to financial sustainability,” said Cohen. “This was an important factor in my decision to become chair of this campaign. Solebury will enter into its second century within two years, and Hope Hall is an important step to ensure the school’s future.”

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