The Barstow School Announces Largest Gift in School History

“We are grateful for a gift that has the capacity to create a groundswell of support throughout our community.”

By Max Goodwin

The Barstow School received the largest donation in the school’s history on Thursday. An anonymous donor gave $7.5 million to the private school. Barstow serves children in grades from pre-K through high school.

Barstow announced through a press release Thursday, that the funds will primarily go towards building a new ‘athletic center’ on its campus.  The donation is the largest in the history of the school. The donation does not restrict how the funds may be used by the school, but does ask for the funds to be directed for specific uses.

The directions from the anonymous donor are for $3 million to be used for a new athletic center, $1.5 million will go to new roofs for on-campus buildings, and $1 million will go to The Barstow IDEA Space on the Leawood side of State Line Road. Also, a new artificial turf surface will go on Barstow’s soccer field. 

“This transformational gift comes as our school is experiencing rising enrollment and preparing to mark sixty years on State Line Road in May, so it is a fitting time to make improvements that will lead us into the future,” Barstow President Shane Foster said through a press release. “We believe it will spark exponential impact for our students today and for generations to come. There is no better time to invest in education and in our school.”

The breakdown of where the fund will be directed is before the bidding process has begun for the construction and could change slightly based on how those figures turn out. 

There was no construction plan drawn up for the athletic center before the gift of $7.5 million came in, but Barstow is now in the initial planning phase of the project. 

“Our campus crews, and leadership are meeting with architects and engineers to figure out where it will be on the campus, what works, and to come up with the design,” Barstow Director of Communications Lisa Tulp said. “So, those are all down the road.”

There is a lot of space to work with in finding the perfect location for the new athletic center, with Barstow’s 40-acre campus. That will be the first part of the process. It’s still too early to know the timeframe for when to expect final construction of the building.

There’s no indication of who the gift was given by, as the donor asked for the donation to be made anonymously.

The past largest single donation to Barstow was $2 million given last year for its IDEA Space, a project which raised a total of about $8 million for, making this new donation the largest single donation ever to Barstow in its 137 year history by more than $5 million.

“We are grateful for a gift that has the capacity to create a groundswell of support throughout our community, allowing us to improve the campus and strengthen the innovative programs and rigorous academics that define a Barstow education,” Board of Trustees Chairman Joel Brous said. 


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