Progress Report

Innovation Lab Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The Lamplighter School celebrated the official opening of its new Innovation Lab on Friday, September 1, 2017 where members of the Lamplighter community, including students, parents, faculty, staff, and Trustees gathered to celebrate the latest addition to the campus.

Barn Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The Barn Ribbon Cutting Ceremony took place on May 17, 2017.  The original Barn was dismantled during the spring of 2016 and replaced and enhanced with a unique and dynamic design.  A new fenced-in area for the animals and rebuilt chicken coop provide a new and improved home for the 47-year-old Lamplighter Layers program, the School's signature entrepreneurial chicken-raising and egg-selling corporation managed by the School's Seniors.


Campaign FAQs

What is the goal of the campaign?

The Igniting Young Minds for a Lifetime of Learning: Campaign to Fund People, Place, and Programs has a goal is $12,500,000.

How much has been raised?

As of February 2017, there is less than $1,000,000 left to raise.

How will the funds be used?

There are four major categories of priority need:

            Campus Enhancements - $9,500,000

            Endowment for Faculty and Students - $1,000,000

            Program Support - $2,000,000

What are the campus enhancements?

New construction includes an Innovation Lab with a teaching kitchen, an environmental science classroom, a robotics lab, and a woodworking classroom.   The new Barn will provide new classrooms and a new chicken coop, and an extended ring road will allow better usage of existing space for students and learning. The School began preparing for the new construction and other enhancements to its facilities during the summer of 2015 when extensive infrastructure work began on utilities and the ring road.

When will construction be completed?

Both new construction and other facilities enhancements will be phased in order to minimize the disruption to Lamplighter’s unique educational programs. The current schedule for Phase One calls for the Innovation Lab to be open for full use by fall 2017, along with the new barn that will also be available by fall 2017.

Will the construction affect my child’s school experience?

The safety and security of our students is always the primary consideration at Lamplighter. There will be many opportunities for learning associated with the construction project.

Who designed the new buildings?

We are so fortunate to have an award-winning architect design the buildings for Lamplighter.  Our architect, Marlon Blackwell, received the prestigious Cooper Hewitt Award, presented by the Smithsonian Design Museum.  He is one of our nation's top designers and his firm is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

What company is building the new structures?

The contractor for the project is Hill & Wilkinson, a Dallas firm with years of experience in construction. They have been great to work with and even thought about ways to include our students in the project by building the observation deck last spring. Students were able to watch building construction during recess.

How big is the Innovation Lab?

The Innovation Lab is 10,500 square feet (including the porches); 9,325 square feet (without porches). The teaching porches are a unique feature and allow multiple classes to have access to the building at the same time.

Will the copper on the new Innovation Lab stay shiny?

No, the copper has already started to patina and by next year at this time the color will be much different. Copper is initially bright reddish-brown in color, but when exposed to the atmosphere, it acquires a protective patina that turns from brown to black to green over an eight to ten year period. Though copper does corrode, this protective patina makes copper a corrosion-resistant material.

Are there other buildings on campus made of copper?

Absolutely! The architect worked hard to keep many of the construction materials the same as we have always had at Lamplighter. The rooftops of both the Jonsson Library and the Cook Gym are made of copper.

What classrooms will be in the new building?

The new building will house a maker space, digital fabrication & robotics space, a project room, a teaching kitchen, woodworking space, environmental science classroom, and two outdoor teaching porches.

What style is the barn?

Gambrel style. Gambrel barns have a symmetrical roofline with both sides having a dual-slope.

How many chickens does the new barn accommodate?

The new barn accommodates up to 45 chickens for the Lamplighter Layers program. Meeting space is available to faculty, LPA, and other groups.

How big is the new barn?

The barn is 1,625 square feet including the porch and chicken coop. This includes an area for egg processing, refrigeration, a computer station, an area for recording data, and loft for storage space.

When will the animals return?

We are all eager for the pig, cow, and sheep to return to campus. They will definitely make their debut in the fall. Their new home will include a beautiful shade tree and they will be located in an animal pen adjacent to the barn.

What types of landscape design and plant choices are offered?

The new landscaping will be a combination of grassy turf for playing and native Texas grasses.

How many trees have been replanted?

The landscape team has been busy at work and has planted 167 trees so far. We expect a few dozen additional trees planted by the time that the project is complete.

When will the sport court open?

The sport court is behind the soccer field and will open next fall as well.

When can I expect to be approached for a gift to the campaign?

The Igniting Young Minds for a Lifetime of Learning campaign is a comprehensive fundraising effort including the continuation of the Annual Fund and Auction throughout the effort.

Your continued generous support of the Annual Fund and the Auction are essential to the success of the campaign and you will be contacted regarding these efforts in the usual manner. Hopefully, you will consider an additional capital contribution to this project.

The School, through the Campaign Steering Committee, has been actively soliciting leadership and major contributions to the campaign from the Board of Trustees and other individuals, parents – current and former, grandparents, alumni and friends, as well as foundations and other entities. This process will be continued and expanded during the remaining months of the campaign with personal contacts.

Who do I talk to if I have questions?

General questions regarding the status of the project should be directed to Head of School, Joan Buchanan Hill, Ed.D. Specific questions related to construction should be directed to Marynell Murphy, Director of Operations, and questions about the campaign should be directed to Sandy Diamond, Director of Advancement.

Steering Committee
Jennifer Karol, Chair
Joe Eastin
Jenney Gillikin
Kirsten Kerrigan
Leslie Krakow
Laura Lear
Catherine Rose
Joan Hill
Sandy Diamond

Campaign Committee
Jennifer Karol, Chair
Mandy Dake
Erin Hillman
Gunjan Jain
Craig Knocke
Shannon Morse
Kristin Rees
Bobby Sussman
Carmen Yung 
Sandy Diamond 

Construction Committee
Catherine Rose, Chair
Sarah Weinberg, Board Chair
Jon Morgan, Vice Chair
Jenney Gillikin
Velpeau Hawes
Jennifer Karol
Leslie Krakow
Karen Pollock
Kristin Rees
Alex Sharma
Justin Small
Vaughn Vennerberg
Joan Hill 
Sandy Diamond
Elise Murphy
Marynell Murphy 

Architectural Committee
Leslie Philipson Krakow '69, Chair
David Benners
Jenney Gillikin
Jed Morse
Karen Pollock
Catherine Rose
Alex Sharma
Gowri Sharma
Bryan Trubey
Joan Hill
Sandy Diamond
Marynell Murphy


  • The Lamplighter School
  • 11611 Inwood Road
  • Dallas, Texas 75229
  • T: 214-369-9201
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