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Becoming Our Best Self: The Campaign for CAIS
A resounding success!

In August 2015, Becoming our Best Self: The Campaign for CAIS closed at $10 million – 25% more than the $8 million goal. The response from the CAIS community was remarkable. Led by past Director of Institutional Advancement Pam Winthrop, the campaign comprised 250 gifts from trustees, parents, alumni families, grandparents, and friends of the school.

How It Came Together—Campaign and Construction Timeline

Carol Ruth Silver with Firedragon
Honorary Co-Chair Carol Ruth Silver with the 888 Campus Firedragon Tile Mural
September 2012The CAIS board of trustees, after having approved a new school mission, shifts its focus to the establishment of a long-term strategic vision with facilities expansion at the center.  The board forms the campus planning and possibilities (CPP) task force, comprised of trustees and staff to search for appropriate facilities in the Hayes Valley and Civic Center neighborhoods.
October 2012—
February 2013
The CAIS board of trustees engages architects Leddy Maytum Stacy (LMS) to assist in evaluating potential sites.  LMS’s school clients in the Bay Area include Nueva, the Bay School, San Francisco Day, the Waldorf School and Sacred Heart Preparatory in Atherton.  CPP begins identifying and visiting potential sites.  Strategic vision task force is formed and begins to engage community in strategic visioning process.
November 2012CAIS staff begins the self-study process for school re-accreditation.  The CAIS staff immediately identifies facilities as the school’s number one issue.
March 2013The CPP identifies properties at 888 and 868 Turk Street and 930 Gough Street in Hayes Valley as possible site for campus expansion, begins negotiation with owner, and due diligence process begins.  Owing the auspiciousness of the number “8” in Chinese numerology, the term “888 campus” enters the CAIS vernacular.
May 2013Strategic vision steering team presents draft of strategic vision to the CAIS board of trustees, facilities are featured prominently in the plan.  The board instructs the school to operationalize the plan and present it again in the fall.
July 2013CAIS retains Adam Phillips from Adam Phillips Development as project manager for 888 campus.  Adam’s school architectural and construction management experience in the Bay Area includes Town School for Boys and the St Paul’s Episcopal School.
September 2013Head of school signs lease for the “888 campus” for a 15-year term beginning upon occupation of the facilities at start of 2015-2016 school year.
November 2013
888 campus working group is formed, comprised of staff, architects, project manager and one trustee representative. Working group visits several Bay Area schools with recent construction experience to learn about their design experience.
November 2013School announces decision to move middle school to new 888 campus. Architects and project manager hold a series of workshops with 888 working group to formulate concept design for 888 campus based on school visits.
December 2013Construction permits submitted
January 2014Head of school presents concept design to CAIS administrative council and middle school staff.  CAIS rolls out strategic vision document to the community.  It is accompanied by the video “Meet Madison,” featuring Madison, an imaginary CAIS student of the future whose education reflects all aspects of the strategic vision.  In it, Madison collaborates with her classmates in the school’s new design lab at the 888 campus to create an application for asynchronous video chatting between CAIS students and their friends in western China.
February 2014Architects and project manager hold a series of workshops with middle school staff and specialists to refine the design of specific spaces at the 888 campus such as science labs, the design lab, the learning hub, the music/dance/PE studio and outdoor spaces.
March 2014CAIS hosts a community wide meeting to report on the state of the 888 campus project, answer questions, and take on feedback.  The 888 middle school campus webpage is launched as a resource center for information and a place for the community to ask questions and provide input to the school on the facilities project.
May 2014Members of the Board of Trustees pledge a total of $3,000,000 to kick off the campaign’s “quiet phase.”
June 2014CAIS engages City Builders, Inc. to manage construction of the new middle school. Demolition begins.
July 2014Seismic upgrades on 888 Campus begin
October 2014Interior framing begins at 888 Campus
November 2014CAIS hosts groundbreaking celebration for parent community.
January 2015Plumbing, mechanical and electrical work begins
February 2015Roofing work begins
April 2015Founder Carol Ruth Silver and Head of School Jeff Bissell visit the Design Lab
Founder Carol Ruth Silver and Head of School Jeff Bissell visit the Design Lab
PG&E transformer installed
May 2015The Fund a Need portion of ShowCAIS is dedicated to outfitting the 888 Campus according to faculty wish lists—raising over $600,000 in just a few minutes and bringing the pledge total to $7.6 million.Sheetrock installed and exterior grading work begins at the 888 Campus
June 2015The Firedragon Tile Murals sell out in record time and raise over $224,000 as the broader CAIS community rallies to participate in the campaign.Concrete and paving work begins, ceilings and lighting installed
July 2015Painting, flooring and tilework began, casework installed, main stairwell installed in south building.
August 2015CAIS announces that Becoming Our Best Self: The Campaign for CAIS finished at $10,033,747 in gifts and pledges—25% more than the $8 million goal.Firedragon tile mosaic installed, furniture delivered, trees and landscaping installed, final finishes and equipment installed. Building inspected and approval for occupancy received.