Since we moved to our beautiful, peaceful site in West Ogwell in 1996, there have been no major structural improvements made to the building. In fact, the house remains pretty much the same as it did 50 years ago, with the last major upgrade in 1967 when the Garden Wing was built.
Yet, the demand for what Gaia House offers has increased significantly over the last 20 years and our facilities are stretched to the limit.
To address the challenges that we are experiencing, we had planned to deliver a significant development project that would enable our site to catch up with the vast numbers of people now visiting Gaia House each year and help us to increase accessibility.
The aim of these plans was to improve facilities for group retreatants by incresing the number of single rooms we can offer and increasing the number of toilets and showers available. In addition to improve our coordinator accommodation, create a self-contained resident teacher living area and minimise disruption to the retreat space by moving our offices outside the main house.
Update on the Building Appeal
As you may be aware, earlier this year Gaia House was presented with the rare opportunity to purchase a neighbouring property known as Oak House (which many of you will recognize as the large converted stone barn and outbuildings across the road).
It was quickly recognized that Oak House met most of the objectives that had motivated our original renovation plans while significantly reducing operational disruption and limitations. Having consulting with our constituent groups, the Gaia House Trust decided to pursue the sale.
Donors to the original Building Appeal were advised of this change and that their donations would now be used to fund the renovations needed to convert Oak House from domestic to institutional use. They were given the opportunity to have their donation returned if this was their wish but to date all donors have been overwhelmingly positive about the new developments.
As of December 2018, the required financial arrangements have been made and we are hoping to complete the purchase in the next few months. We have also initiated an internal consultation and planning process about the optimal use of the new space.
We look forward to announcing the successful completion and unveiling our plans in the New Year.
Thank you for your support!
Present and future generations will benefit from your generosity.
“I have been involved with Gaia House almost since its inception, and I am heartened again and again that it continues to be a refuge for people in need of kindness, understanding, nature and quiet. This building project will be an opportunity to improve the facilities so that all of us, teachers, staff and students alike, can benefit.”
“Gaia House is where I healed from years of pain, learnt about love and became the whole human being I was always meant to be. Discovering Gaia House saved my life. I hope it will be there for centuries to come, making the teachings of wisdom and kindness available to all who seek them.”