The Waldorf School of Cape Cod, which is leasing space in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Falmouth this school year, has purchased property for its “long-term home” at 22 Tupper Road in Sandwich.
The 3.5-acre property, across from the Sandwich Auction House, is on land that was once part of the former Roberti Dairy Farm and includes a meadow, gardens and a bamboo forest. It also includes a 2,500-square-foot, one-story, ranch-style house with a garage, built in 1969, that will be converted to a school.
The school plans to open its new location in September, said Roxanne King, the school’s director. The purchase price was $560,000, which is in a privately held mortgage, with funding from donors, Ms. King said.
“The house is in really good shape. We’re going to move a few walls and work on the interior space and the garage, but most of the work is cosmetic,” she said. “The property gives us a lot more outdoor space for gardening and other activities.”
The school has hired the architectural firm of Spencer, Sullivan & Vogt of Charlestown for the building designs, she said.
Founded in Woods Hole in 1984, the Waldorf School offers hands-on learning with a focus on the arts and outdoor education. During its 35-year history, the school has moved from Woods Hole to North Falmouth and then to the former Coady School in Bourne before renting the former Cotuit Elementary School in Barnstable since 2009.
The Barnstable School Committee decided in January not to renew the school’s lease at the Cotuit space, which ended June 30. The school recently dropped a lawsuit charging that the Town of Barnstable failed to give proper notice of the lease’s termination.
The school currently enrolls 40 students from prekindergarten to grade 6, with 12 full- and part-time staff, and Ms. King said she hopes that the new location will attract up to 20 more students next school year from across the Cape and off-Cape. The teaching staff would also likely increase in number.
“This gives us ownership, and we’ll have space to do what we want to do,” Ms. King said.
That includes offering grades 7 and 8 as the school had done in Cotuit, but which the smaller Falmouth space could not accommodate.
“Part of the attraction of the new property is its flexibility and its accessibility to different locations. It is close to the [Bourne and Sagamore] bridges, which is convenient for families from the Upper Cape and the towns on the other side of the bridges,” Ms. King said. “It is also close to Route 6, which is convenient for families living down-Cape.”
The school’s tuition will decrease from nearly $15,000 to $13,925 for full-time students, Ms. King, noting that about 70 percent of students receive financial aid this year.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming a wider range of people next year, and we plan to be in this new location a long time,” Ms. King said.