"A Cruising Ground for Kings..."
That's how Bishop George Washington Doane described the campus and surroundings of his school. One-hundred-eighty-three years later, the view from Doane Academy is much the same. The historic Delaware River flows calmly past, while an unbroken tree-lined bank faces us from the Pennsylvania side, and just off to the east, and also astride the river, sits the picturesque town of Bristol (founded 1681). In the center of the river, just a couple of hundred yards from the school, is situated the uninhabited 400 acre refuge of Burlington Island, home to every form of wildlife to be found in this region, including nesting pairs of bald eagles.
Doane Academy’s shaded thirteen acre campus, nestled on the western side of the historic City of Burlington (founded 1677), includes among its structures three buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including our chapel (1847) which is noted as the first Neo-Gothic church structure built in the United States. Among our other buildings are a dedicated and recently updated science building, a gymnasium, and also a one-of-a-kind English manor house styled dining hall, theater space, a lower school library, and many flexible classroom spaces. At the center of the campus, our newest building, Rowan Hall (2015), dominates. A three-and-a-half story building with a brick façade, modeled after an early 19th century Georgian-style structure that once stood nearby, Rowan Hall includes a dozen state-of-art-classrooms, two student resource centers, administrative offices, and an expansive and inviting lobby with comfortable seating areas and a grand piano. This new building includes green technology in that it is largely heated and cooled by its own geothermal plant. In the fall of 2019 Doane Academy acquired the two properties associated with the former Elias Boudinot Elementary School. These parcels were contiguous to Doane's property and so were a natural fit for our expansion.
The campus also includes two regulation soccer fields, a new baseball field (2016), a softball field, and a natural space, called “Discovery Woods”, where our younger students regularly spend hands-on time learning about the natural world around us. At the center of the campus is a serene open space which has been known as “the circle” since the earliest days of the school. What was once a circular boardwalk, constructed as a place of walking exercise for our 19th century students, is now a concrete walking path between our main buildings, but the green lawns and trees that are also spread across this private setting serve as a place of relaxation and an area to catch up with friends and classmates. Picnic benches dot the landscape and invite all to rest under the shade of some of many mature trees.
Within this setting, full of natural and serene beauty, varied academic opportunities, and rich in history, the kings that Bishop Doane alluded to would surely feel very comfortable.