I have much good news to report regarding fiscal year 2018 at St. Mark’s. Because of our extraordinary community support combined with the vision and leadership of our Board of Trustees, we finished the year in strong financial fashion with many notable accomplishments.
The Facilities Committee worked diligently under the active leadership of Steve Rogers to continue to address both short and long-term plans for campus. Over the past year, a wide array of significant improvements were made to our buildings and grounds including: a new, state-of-the-art scoreboard in Hunt Stadium and a variety of other athletic facility improvements, alley repairs and additional landscaping on the north side of campus, replacement of over half of the windows in the Lower School, renovation of the Lion’s Closet and study wing bathrooms, masonry work on the Chapel bell tower, and myriad other projects.
Steve Rogers, who also serves as the chair of the Science Center project, attended 30+ Owner/Architect/Contractor meetings (to date) with the project team comprised of professionals from Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Good, Fulton & Farrell Architects, HC Beck, and Legends. The project continues to be on schedule and within budget, and because of the incredible support of the St. Mark’s community, all construction payments thus far have been funded from gift receipts without drawing on the debt facility in place for construction financing. The fact that the School may complete a $40 million dollar building project without needing to incur debt is truly extraordinary.
Not only is it hoped that no financing will be incurred as a result of new construction, but the School’s balance sheet also reflects $3.5 million in existing debt and $275 million in assets, with approximately $140 million invested in endowment funds. Under the leadership of Fraser Marcus ’72, the Investment Committee provides expert guidance and fiduciary oversight of the endowment fund investments and their performance throughout the year. The drawdown from the endowment provides partial funding for financial aid, faculty salaries, professional development, and deferred maintenance expenses for the physical plant.
The members of the Finance Committee, chaired by Mike Warnecke ’87, directed much of their focus this past year on financial aid and continued financial sustainability. With that committee’s excellent oversight of St. Mark’s financial resources, the fiscal year ended in a positive position, and the resulting Operating Fund surplus was added to the Long-Term Reserve for Future Operations - a reserve fund that may be used for purposes such as financial aid, capital purchases, and debt retirement at the sole discretion of the Board of Trustees.
The ultimate goal of all of this work by our Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, and staff is to ensure the continued strength of program and excellence at St. Mark’s School of Texas for the current and future generations of Marksmen. We recognize and appreciate this responsibility, and are grateful for the generous support of this community.