For a little more than 10 years, North Broward Preparatory School quite literally has been a home away from home for international and national students alike—and all homes need some upgrading once in a while. As a boarding school with a focus on inclusivity and diversity, NBPS plans to expand by building new housing, due for completion in August.
Construction is well underway for the new, 130,000-square-foot Residential Village, which will house nearly 500 students—a significant increase from the 300 students NBPS currently houses. The current modular village will be removed when the new village is complete, and a fine arts center potentially will replace what was the old residence.
The decision to expand was another milestone in NBPS’s longtime goal to bring students from different areas of the world together, in an effort to enhance the learning experience for all students. NBPS students hail from 24 countries.
“We’ve seen the value in bringing different cultures, different perspectives, different ideas in one place so that our students really learn to grow and thrive in an environment similar to the world they’re going to live in when they graduate,” says Elise Ecoff, the head of the school. “It has always been our desire to be an international school on American soil.”
Ecoff adds that having a permanent residential facility was the deciding factor in building. Students will be able to take advantage of school activities and events and have access to facilities such as the Global Wellness Center, the learning commons, student union and other collaborative learning spaces days, nights and weekends.
Students are happy to have a unified campus.
“I am really excited that next year everybody will be in the same place, in one building,” says Vanessa Silva, an 11th-grader from Brazil.
Adds Patti Sammons, operations manager for the school’s residential life program: “There is definitely a buzz about the new residential village among the students. I have heard them talking about sharing their room with only one student instead of two.”
Academic programs combined with extracurricular opportunities, athletics and clubs have helped NBPS develop a strong reputation abroad. Being part of Nord Anglia Education, an international collection of 46 private schools, and benefiting from collaborations with The Juilliard School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have solidified that reputation. Administrators say a new residential hall will enhance the overall experience for new and returning students.
“We are, as a community, really excited for this next step,” Ecoff says. “Our community is really interested in inclusivity and embracing diversity, and empowering our students to look for ways to make positive changes. We think just having this type of educational experience for all of our students will be a really great advancement for North Broward.”