Early in the 2010s, after in-depth analysis and research, the Lloyd Center Board of Directors and staff agreed that continuing to offer and expand the best and most relevant environmental education programs based on real research required the Center to move to new levels of excellence required in the dynamic world of the 21st century. The Center’s main building and 82-acre campus must be up-graded after 30 years of use; the Center’s infrastructure and capital foundation must be secured to assure the program maintenance and expansion requisite to moving the revered institution to new and informed levels of excellence.
After careful definition and analysis of undertaking a capital campaign, the Lloyd Center for the Environment set a goal of raising $3M to: build two new buildings (a Welcome Center and Teaching Pavilion on the Slocum River); renovate and enlarge the 50-year-old Main Building; improve bus drop-off, parking, and the roadways; implement a financial five-year plan for program development; and increase endowment funding. By early 2020, the Teaching Pavilion, portions of the Main Building expansion, the first portions of the Welcome Center, the access plans, and the program and endowment goals of the five-year plan had been successfully addressed. And over $3M in capital funds had been raised!
The multi-year onset of the Covid Pandemic required the Lloyd Center’s operational, facilities, and capital plans to be postponed. Schools closed classrooms, the Lloyd Center buildings and exhibits were closed, field studies programs were discontinued, the staff was working remotely, the New Bedford Regional Vocational Technology High School (VOC-Tech) students could no longer work building the Welcome Center, and operational support had to be the focus of fundraising.
As always, the Lloyd Center Board of Trustees and Staff responded with strength and courage. The 2020-2023 period marked a time of profound challenges and great accomplishments.
By 2022, the Center’s school, field, and environmental education programs were being reinstituted, the VOC-Tech instructors and students were able to return to work on the Welcome Center, outreach programs were in high demand, and Professional Development enrollment was strong. By 2023, the Center’s activities and demands had flourished above the pre-2020 levels!
Fortunately, about two-thirds of the facilities construction had been completed before the substantial rise in building costs and skilled labor costs, now active. Had the facilities projects commenced during today’s inflationary environment and supply chain disruptions, the cost of renovations and new construction and the time-to-completion would be substantially higher. In order to achieve the goals of the initial Transforming a Legacy, the Center has had to move to the $2M goal of Completing the Transformation.
In the next E News, we look forward to sharing more about all that has been accomplished, how we are working to reach closure, and the in-depth nature of our campaign endeavors.
Photos courtesy of Kathryn Duff