PCD Launches $15M Fundraising Campaign During Centennial Year

The future is bright for 100-year old independent school Providence Country Day as it launches its Centennial Campaign to raise $15 million of comprehensive funding for improving campus facilities, increased endowment, and unrestricted funds. Most notably, the school intends to build a new arts building at the center of the school’s 30-acre campus in East Providence.
Kevin Folan, PCD’s head of school, formally announced the initiative during PCD’s Centennial Gala. This formal event was held on Saturday, June 22nd at the Rhode Island Convention Center with over 400 attendees. Folan noted the significance of the timing of this campaign with this milestone: “Tonight marks an important moment in our school’s history as we turn our focus from celebrating the first 100 years to building a bright future for PCD for the next century and beyond, ensuring that the school will thrive today, tomorrow, and always.”

The Centennial Campaign is the first of its kind in school history, with targeted goals of $1.5 million for endowment, $4.9 million in unrestricted gifts, and $8.6 million for capital improvements. The school has already raised over $10 million, putting the campaign on track to reach the ambitious $15 million overall goal in the next 2 fiscal years.

Folan says initial construction for the arts center is estimated to cost approximately $5 million, with another estimated $3 million needed to complete the second phase of the design. The school aims to raise the necessary funds to begin construction before the 2026-2027 school year. 

Renderings of the new art center by local architecture firm Saccoccio & Associates show a 12,000 sq ft building in the center of PCD’s campus. The building highlights include an 850 sq ft gallery space leading to a 2,600 sq ft theater. The innovative design offers both indoor and outdoor stages, with retractable glass walls allowing for unique in-the-round performance space with additional outdoor terraced seating. The second phase of the project includes new classrooms for visual arts, music, and a maker space. “This building will provide the necessary room for the visual and performing arts programs to continue to thrive,” said Folan. 

This will be the first dedicated building for the arts at PCD and will allow the school space for its continued growth and development. The enrollment for 2024-2025 is higher than ever before in school history, with most class years at capacity and operating on a waiting list. PCD Board President Patrick McQuade attributes the school’s current success in part to PCD’s industry-leading tuition reset in 2020: “As we watched tuition prices explode over the last couple of decades, Kevin and the leadership at PCD took on the challenge of tuition affordability and that great work has begun to bear fruit.”

The school has already made significant campus improvements since Folan joined the school in 2019. In addition to resetting tuition by more than 36%, campus improvements have included renovations to the Field House with a new fitness center, athletic trainer room, and vestibule. Numerous classroom updates have also been completed, including a full building renewal for historic Metcalf Hall, updated science labs and the Learning Hub in the Upper School. Outdoor improvements to the campus include a new turf field, a playground, and nature trail. This summer, plans are underway to expand the Chace Hall dining facilities to accommodate the prep space needed for the 375 students as well as faculty and staff for meals, which is included in tuition for all students.

The Centennial Gala was held at the Rhode Island Convention Center with over 400 attendees, and was the featured event during a weekend full of celebrations for the school community. The weekend festivities started on Friday evening with the inaugural induction ceremony for “Knights of Distinction,” a new hall of fame established to recognize the contributions of members of the school community. The inductees included several notable alumni of the school, such as businessman Terry Murray ‘58, politician Lincoln Chaffee ‘71, astrophysicist Alanna Meredith Hughes ‘01, entrepreneur Aaron Samuels ‘07, and philanthropist golfer Billy Andrade ‘82.

The weekend concluded with a Family Field Day and Faculty Brunch for all current and former school community members for both PCD and Henry Barnard School.

Providence Country Day School is an independent school serving students in grades Pre-K through Grade 12 in East Providence, RI. More information about the school and the campaign can be found at providencecountryday.org