Expansion Hall is home to various classrooms, meeting rooms and a 450 seat auditorium.
Vitality Hall is our fantastic gym and multipurpose building, with full size gymnasium,stage, and adjourning practice rooms.
“The grounds were gorgeous! I hope to have another opportunity to visit.” –G.G.
“I love the nature and view.” –C.O.
Ananda Center at Laurelwood is being developed on the site of the Laurelwood Academy, a Seventh Day Adventist High School and Retreat Center that began in 1904. Families for generations have looked to the Laurelwood Valley as a source of inspiration, upliftment, insight, beauty, friendship, community. The Valley developed around the activities of the Academy, which at one point schooled hundreds of students at a time, with 60 staff and faculty. An integrated community with every aspect of living woven together and supported by love for the Source of all life, it is possible to feel the dynamic joy that fed the folks who lived and learned there.
Ananda Center at Laurelwood is continuing the tradition; Education for Life, Inspired Community Development, Exploration and Discovery of harmonious patterns of living.
Some fun details:
Since assuming stewardship of this property on May 5, 2011, we have seen many visitors stop by, occasionally with as many as three generations together, to reminisce and reconnect with this property which played such a large part of their formative experiences. In every case, the memories are rich, warm and joyful. “I remember helping in the kitchen.” “I worked in the gardens.” “I stoked the boilers.” “The steam tunnels were passage for secret entry between buildings – before we were caught.” “I was here before that building even existed.” “We got caught skipping and hiding out in…” “On a cold winter day, you could look out and see the flames from the boilers high above the chimneys.” “That was my room there.” “All of us [three generations] went to high school here.”
Expansion Hall was known as the Admin Building. It served for classes, offices and larger gatherings (a 500 seat auditorium once served for school meetings, presentations and worship services. Currently the auditorium will be available for inspired arts presentations (music, dance, theater) as well as large conference presentations and worship services. The class rooms will continue to be used for meetings, classes and smaller presentations. The views from these rooms keep the mind fresh and connected to the larger world. The offices will house Campus reception, Administration, Program Development, Education for Life International offices and Ananda College of Living Wisdom administration, student services and outreach.
Wisdom Hall is the erstwhile Science Building. Home Economics will continue to provide cooking, diet and nutritional classes and services. The Chemistry, Biology and Physics class rooms will continue to provide resources for exploration and discovery of the natural world, including Research into Organic Agriculture and Permaculture, Hydroponics, Alternative Energy Engineering, Architecture and Natural Building Practices, Yoga and Meditation as tools for Integrated Living. The Library will continue as a Resource Center for exploration into new levels of understanding and insight. Wisdom Hall Auditorium is used as a theater and for dynamic visual presentations.
Transformation Hall is the Industrial Arts complex. Shops for Woodworking, Welding, Mechanical Work, provide fertile grounds for continued “tinkering” with new ideas as well as maintenance of the tools and equipment required to manage a community of any size.
Vitality Hall is, and ever was, a place for exercise, physical development, recreation. A gymnasium with basketball/volleyball courts, workout areas and locker rooms, Vitality Hall has a concert/performance stage capable of supporting grand performances with enormous gatherings (as many as 1500 have attended various functions, including graduations, in the past). Creativity Wing attaches to Vitality, and while its many small and private rooms were historically dedicated to the practice of music, it is now dedicated to music, arts, and other creative activities.
Harmony Hall was once Friendality Hall. Serving since 1947 as the girls’ dorm, it provided the center of life for the young women attending the school. The restored rooms now serve as guest housing for those attending programs, classes and retreats here.
In addition, Harmony Hall has been the source of nourishment for the campus for decades with “Green Hill Cafe” staff now taking over the role of serving fabulous meals for those on Campus. The Campus ever was, and continues to be, dedicated to serving vegetarian fare – for every good reason.
Devotion Hall served since 1953 as Whisby Hall, the boys’ dormitory. Wide halls seem to run to infinity in each direction as you enter each floor, and there is a sense of limitlessness, expansion, connection (and even a little mischief) upon entering this building. Set slightly out of the main areas of Campus activity, Devotion Hall provides sanctuary and housing for longer-term program participants.
The Boiler Building provides resources for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the Campus and is a reminder of the history, industry, cooperation and creativity that went into the development of this remarkable Campus.
Orchards, gardens and landscaping all have been managed organically for ever and we continue that approach to growing things. We remain dedicated to the harmonious maintenance and development of the grounds and gardens. There are around 300 fruit trees in the orchards, dozens of grapes in the vineyard, and several acres of garden that are being reclaimed. The Campus also has its own spring which supplies to the Campus some of the purest water to be found.
For direct information on the history of Laurelwood Academy, see this Wikipedia Site