Students have attended school on Orange Grove Drive, nestled next to Lake Lipsey among the cypress trees, since 1970. Independent Day School (now Corbett Prep) opened in 1968 in temporary facilities and grew so rapidly in its first two years that its founders sought a permanent home with plenty of room for growth, creativity and exploration.
As co-founder Marilyn Gatlin wrote in the 1976 IDS yearbook, “We held our classes in five rustic, rounded wooden buildings which arrived on the property just before the school year began. For the first month, students and teachers shared the adventure of using portable bathrooms, drinking bottled water, and holding many classes outside in the grass by the lake.”
By the 1980s planning was underway for new construction to expand the number of classes and house kindergarten through eighth grade. Children contributed ideas and helped choose colors for the new design, which reflects the school’s hands-on philosophy. Architect Gerry Curts placed windows with a child’s eye view, and at the request of children and teachers, designed individual buildings for each grade level, maintaining the pride of ownership and sense of belonging that had given the original classrooms their special appeal.
The campus expanded to the west side of Orange Grove Drive, where the Middle School facility opened in January 2001, making the campus 15 acres. With state-of-the-art 21st Century classrooms and equipment, this expansion allowed for three classes per grade level and in 2005, PreK3 was added.
Read more about Corbett Prep's history.