Indian Springs School opens Kayser Samford Community Commons

Published 9:54 am Monday, December 12, 2022

By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Indian Springs School had its official ribbon cutting for Kayser Samford Community Commons on Friday, Dec. 9.

The facility is the second phase of a campus masterplan that began 10 years ago. The school began assessing what the needs would be for the faculty, students body population on campus grew in numbers.

A variety of seating and table options are offered in the new facility with benches, booths and high top tables available for students and faculty.

“The views are the best on campus,” Head of School, Scott Schamberger said. “We hope it will be inspiring for our young people here so that we can engage with one another.”

The facility looks out onto the lake, with chairs seated outdoors so students can take in the view the lake offers.

“We seized an opportunity with the pandemic where our students had to be outside eating to address a facility issue we had,” Schamberger said.

The dining hall on campus previously was built 70 years ago, and it was time for a new, more modern facility to be placed on campus for the future students, Schamberger said.

“We have thought about it for the last decade,” Schamberger said. “Two years ago, we had the opportunity to seize that moment.”

Schamberger said the building was designed with students in mind, and said the overall feeling in the new facility has a “coffee house vibe” that caters to students ages 14-18.

“It is supposed to be much more than just a dining hall,” Schamberger said. “It is a community commons, and the name on the building, Kayser Samford Community Commons, is intentional. It is a student space to hang out, engage with one another and build lifelong friendships. It is the social hub of the campus, and we hope that this reflects that.”

So far, the students who are a part of the boarding communities have eaten one dinner in the facility and were happy with the new facility food and amenities.

“Our building communities were probably most impacted over the last two years, so they got the first dibs on the building, and we surprised them with dinner as a community on Sunday night,” Schamberger said. “I stood here as they walked in and saw the expressions on their face.”

Indian Springs has a variety of food options to offer in order to address the increasing number of dietary restrictions students might face. There are five different serving stations in addition to the beverage counter, expanding the options for students.

“The people here are what makes Springs so transformational,” Schamberger said. “We have students coming from all over the world, all over the country and all over the state of Alabama to come together in classrooms. We have faculty who are world renowned in their respective fields, and something magical happens when you put that collection of students together with these amazing adults that care so deeply. The best part of my day is when I get to interact with students.”

Schamberger said this new building serves as a tangible representation of the quality of academic and educational program offered at Indian Springs.

“This is one facility that I hope outwardly expresses the vision and mission of this school,” Schamberger said. “We want to transform the lives of young of people and send them out to be the next generation of leaders.”

The student body of Indian Springs has been very excited for the opening of the new facility, Schamberger said.

“They have been eager to get in here, and I think their faces said it all to me,” he said. “They couldn’t be happier with what they’re experiencing here. This facility was envisioned to be a place where relationships are built. If the academic facilities are the fuel to the brain, the athletic facilities the fuel of the body, then this is the fuel to the heart.”

Schamberger said buildings like this work to serve as a second home for members of the Indian Springs School community.

“For 70 years, Indian Springs School has been educating young people to be the next generation of leaders to their respective communities,” Schamberger said. “A decade ago, the school embarked on a journey to update the campus masterplan and ensure the quality of our facilities matched that of the quality of the educational experience.

“This new facility is the next step in realizing that vision and replacing the historic dining hall with a new, state-of-the art community commons. Current and future students will forge enduring bonds and lifelong friendships here. They will dive deep into great literature pieces here, share perspectives and be inspired to be creative by the breath-taking views of the lake on campus.”

More information about Indian Springs School can be found at Indiansprings.org.