Since becoming an independent school in 2005, Baker’s building and grounds have received significant upgrades. Today students enjoy the advantages of a library housing 24,000 volumes, dual-platform technology/media labs, computer interactive white boards in all kindergarten through eighth grade classrooms as well as the library and music studio, a high school caliber science lab, new garden space that incorporates raised garden beds, a hoop house and keyhole garden, a performance hall, an art studio, a drama studio, a music studio, a natatorium, and a gymnasium. Although there is no substitute for a visit to the Baker campus, the following virtual tour gives a sense of the breadth of opportunity afforded students by the school’s facilities.
Centrally located, the library, in combination with the adjoining technology lab, forms the core of the school. Comprising over 24,000 volumes, the library features the Follet Electronic Library Database System, traditional card catalogues, experiential puppets and stage, reading circles for listening skills development, a faculty/parent collection, and student collection display areas.
The technology lab borders the library on both sides, providing easy access to a wide array of research tools. Twenty-five computers are located in the lab along with state-of-the-art software, two scanners, three flip video cameras, eight digital cameras, and two projectors. There is also an adjacent interactive white board that both students and faculty engage for multimedia projects.
Across from the tech lab, there is a media center housing nine Macs including a teacher’s work station, as well as a flat panel screen to share and discuss student work, a printer, a scanner, three digital cameras, four video cameras, and video camera accessories. The media center was developed for a breadth of multimedia projects in the fine arts. In addition, students take advantage of the media center to further build upon core subject projects. The media center is also integral to various after-school activities.
The Art Studio supports wet media including tempera, acrylics, oils, watercolors, pen and ink, Japanese brushwork, calligraphy and a class set of table easels. It also supports dry media including charcoal and pastels. Printmaking supplies include tools for relief block printing, silkscreen, and lithography. Ceramic supplies include three electric Brent model throwing wheels, one table height slab roller, two wedging boards, hand building tools, class set of banding wheels, and one electric, low-fire kiln. Fiber Arts supplies include one large loom, three small mechanical looms, weaving tools, and three wooden hoops. Three Macintosh computers offer photo manipulation software and graphic design programs. Technology also includes a digital projector, a slide projector, and a light table.
The Music Lab includes over a dozen electronic keyboards, six electric guitars and a bass guitar, two electric violins, and an electronic drum set. Eight PC and Macintosh computers offer music theory, composition, mixing, ear training, and instrumental instruction. Acoustic instruments include over a dozen guitars, two dozen hand drums, two dozen djembe drums, a complete drum set, two violins, one trumpet, one flute, one clarinet, a Steinway concert grand, two dozen sopranino recorders, two dozen soprano recorders, two dozen alto recorders, three octaves of hand bells, four octaves of chimes, four octaves of Boomwhackers,™ and a complete Orff Instrumentarium of xylophones, metallaphones, and glockenspiels.
The spacious drama studio offers a flexible studio setting for drama classes for first through eighth grades, show rehearsals, and guest visits. The studio offers an intimate place to see films, while being large enough to rehearse full productions. The studio is equipped with yoga mats, blankets, blocks and straps for yoga, twenty Folkmanis puppets, hand painted silk scarves and assorted percussion instruments. The drama studio is designed for gross motor and kinesthetic exploration, small and large group work, and yoga.
Carlson Theater is a 175-seat auditorium and stage with student-operable lighting and sound systems.
The Gymnasium contains retractable bleacher seating for up to four hundred, an electronic scoreboard, a divider curtain, and a sound system. It houses six full size basketball hoops, manipulatives for fencing, archery, badminton, tennis, soccer, basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, volleyball, track and field, and numerous types of equipment for skill development.
The centerpiece of the Baker Natatorium is a four-lane, twenty-yard lap pool for both physical education and after- school swimming programs. The pool depth ranges from three feet at its most shallow to eight feet at the deep end. The pool also features many aquatic fitness and learning aids such as kickboards, pull buoys, aqua jogger belts, water aerobics equipment, a variety of adjustable swimming aids and a set of both basketball hoops and water polo goals. The pool also has a full complement of livesaving equipment that include four rescue tubes, two life rings, one shepherd’s crook, and a backboard with head immobilizer. Connected with the pool area are two on-deck restrooms with single showers and both male and female locker rooms.
The school playgrounds consist of an early childhood playground that opens off the early childhood classrooms along the east side of the building and a playground for older children along the west side of the building. The early childhood playground features a new sensory garden planted in the summer of 2010 and has yet to be photographed with this new installation.
The school features a 14,000 square foot athletics field along Sheridan Road. Built immediately after Baker became an independent school, the athletic field was designed specifically for daily physical education, after-school sports practice and games, and mid-day recess.