IMS has recently launched a major project: the construction of a Teacher Village. This will be situated on five acres already owned by IMS on Pleasant Street in Barre, MA, very close to the Retreat Center.
The Teacher Village will solve several pressing challenges. In coming years, many of our original faculty will be reducing their teaching commitments or retiring altogether. Before then, it’s critical that they spend time mentoring our newer teachers and trainees, ensuring that the breadth and depth of the Buddha’s teachings at our centers continue long after they are gone.
As we plan for this succession, larger teaching teams are needed, making our current teacher housing and the lack of a dedicated faculty meeting space unworkable for the longer term.
And so the idea of a Teacher Village was born. Our vision calls for four single-story duplexes (eight accommodation units) and a Commons House dedicated meeting area. After a generous initial gift that allowed us to engage our architects and contractor and get underway last fall, construction has made steady progress. The foundation walls for three buildings were poured before the ground froze this winter. Two duplexes and the community building are now insulated and sheet-rocked, and their interiors have been painted. As finish work continues on these structures, the foundations will be poured and framing begins for the two remaining buildings in April.
Once the Teacher Village is completed, an important additional benefit is that we can make our current teacher accommodations available for much-needed staff housing.
We held a moving ceremony on the site on October 16 to bless the land and all beings who have been nourished by it through the centuries. Many teachers and staff attended.
We invite you to join us in supporting the creation of this very special space to support IMS and our growing community of Dharma teachers. A significant fundraising endeavor is underway to raise the rest of the funds needed. This project will be the theme of the 2019 Spring Appeal. Please feel free to contact Executive Director Inger Forland or Development Director Gyano Gibson if you have any questions or are interested in partnering with us to bring this exciting project to completion.