This past year the Gaines Group designed a much needed addition to the Montessori School of Charlottesville Gordon Avenue campus. Located in the Venable neighborhood of Charlottesville, the original building is a Victorian home built in 1894 by UVA professor Richard Dabney. We were asked to provide a design that matches the needs of the school while keeping a cohesive appearance with the historic building. I had many meetings with Lindsey Munson, an administrator at the school, learning about the specific needs of the Montessori classroom. I have firsthand experience with the Montessori way of learning since both my children attend or have attended MSC. In selecting a preschool for our children we enjoyed the Montessori philosophy of fostering personal independence and social responsibility and believed MSC would provide a great foundation for their education. What makes me proud is with this new addition, MSC will be able to enroll 17 new students which will increase their scholarship program thus creating the ability to offer full scholarships to deserving families who might not have the opportunity to gain a strong early childhood education.
We were able to usher our design through the Charlottesville Board of Architecture Review process and receive approval. Construction began in late spring of 2018 and completed in time for the 2018 fall semester.
MSC is in the midst of their Building Peace capital campaign to offset costs of the new addition. MSC is seeking to raise $150,000 and has received a matching grant of $75,000 from the Charlottesville Perry Foundation. MSC must raise the additional $75,000 to receive this donation. If you would like to help families afford the opportunity for a quality early childhood education please visit
Guest Post by Paul Tassell, AIA, CSI, CDT
Gaines Group Architects