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Press Release
September 10, 2013

Sultana Projects Announces Vision 2020

Bay-oriented non-profit looks to double its capacity by 2020
Plans major new LEED certified Education Center in Chestertown
Will change name to Sultana Education Foundation in 2014
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Chestertown, Maryland: Sultana Projects, Inc., an award-winning educational organization that provides field programs in history and environmental science for more than 12,000 students annually, today announced plans to double its capacity over the next decade through an initiative known as Vision 2020. As part of Vision 2020, the non-profit will broaden its target audience to include students from Pre-K through High School, as well as expand its programs for teachers and the general public.

“Vision 2020 is the most important step Sultana Projects has taken since we set out to build the schooner SULTANA in 1997,” said Board Chair Patti Hegland. “Our goal is to become a comprehensive provider of education enrichment programs in history, science, and environmental studies for school systems on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and beyond.”

“We have expanded at an incredible pace the past few years, driven by demand from regional schools that see our programs as an important asset supporting their classroom curricula,” said Sultana President Drew McMullen. “Right now we principally serve students from 3rd through 7th grades. When implemented, Vision 2020 will create opportunities for our partner schools to have their students participate in a progression of
field experiences from Pre-K through High School. We see this multiyear curriculum as essential to developing a life-long appreciation for the Chesapeake.”

To help realize the goals of Vision 2020, Sultana plans to construct a new Education Center at the corner of Cannon and Cross streets in Chestertown. The property, now under contract, features an existing 19th century building at 200 South Cross Street and an adjoining open lot. Sultana plans to break ground on a new building on the open lot as early as the Fall of 2014. When connected with the 200 South Cross Street building, the combined 9,000 square-foot complex will include a multi-media lecture room, state-of-the-art wet lab, project shop, and classrooms.

Sultana Projects’ goal is for the new center to be LEED Platinum certified. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a certification granted by the U.S. Green Building Council that recognizes facilities that
are built and operated to specific standards regarding sustainability, water and energy conservation, atmospheric friendliness, and materials re-use.

The Council issues four levels of certification; of which Platinum is the most rigorous. When completed, the center would be the only LEED Platinum certified building on Maryland’s Upper Eastern Shore. “Our goal is for this center to be a national example for how environmentally sustainable design can be incorporated into an historically-sensitive urban setting,” said Sultana Board Member Matthew Tobriner. “The building’s sustainable technologies will become important teaching tools in our education programs.”

Design work for the Education Center is well underway. The award-winning architectural firm of Castro Arts of Baltimore has been retained as the lead design architect, supported by JWA Consulting, an architectural firm
based in Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania, and Doo Consultants, a nationally recognized firm based in Baltimore that specializes in sustainable design.

Sultana Projects hopes to unveil a final design this fall following approval by Chestertown authorities.
Sultana Projects estimates that the construction of the Education Center will inject several million dollars into the local economy over the next three years. Additionally, Sultana anticipates that the center will support a threefold
expansion of its public programs, drawing new visitors and economic activity to Kent County and Chestertown for decades to come.

Vision 2020 and the new Education Center – as well as Sultana’s ongoing operations – will be funded by a four-year, $5.5 million comprehensive campaign that will kick off at the organization’s Annual Gala September
21. Sultana Projects’ Board of Directors and core supporters have already committed $2 million towards the campaign goal. “This is an incredible show of support from the community and puts us in an excellent position
to leverage these funds with support from private foundations and other sources,” said Elizabeth Spurry, Senior Vice President at Wye Financial and Trust and co-chair of Sultana’s Strategic Development Committee.

In recognition of the changes that will result from Vision 2020, the organization plans to change its name from Sultana Projects to the “Sultana Education Foundation” in 2014. “This new name recognizes the role that the
schooner SULTANA has played in our history, while better communicating our core mission of education,” said Sultana’s Co-Vice Chair Philip Webster.

 

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