From its bucolic 65-acre campus in Dartmouth, MA, Friends Academy is centrally located midway along the South Coast between the city of Providence, RI, a mere thirty-minute drive to the west, and the Bourne Bridge, equidistant to the east. The village of Padanaram, the cities of New Bedford and Fall River, and the tri-towns of Marion, Mattapoisett, and Rochester are all within easy reach. Lakeville, and the Westport and Sakonnet River towns are also close by.
The school benefits from a close proximity to the campus, faculty, and resources of UMass Dartmouth. Its ties to the historic city of New Bedford, with that city’s cultural significance and rich whaling and seafaring traditions, frames its sense of place. The South Coast of Massachusetts boasts incredible natural resources and an extraordinary maritime setting that includes cranberry bogs, harbors, marshes, estuaries, woodlands, fields, and beaches.
Situated on the former Herring Family estate on Tucker Road, Friends’ students learn and play on a campus that includes acres of marsh, woodland and rolling fields. Herring Building, the estate’s original Tudor building is home to classrooms for children in kindergarten through grade five. The building underwent a complete renovation in 2011, and today, sparkling classrooms and brightly lit corridors complement the stately grandeur of the building’s historic conference rooms and administrative offices. The Commons, a 450-seat capacity auditorium accommodates a variety of audiences for performances, school meetings, and special functions. Next door, the circa 1813 Tucker Farmhouse is home to our preschool. In the back of the campus the two-story Clay Stites Middle School Building is home to our sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students.
A large organic vegetable garden and a series of beehives are tended by the community and the source of donations to local food pantries.
Two regulation soccer/lacrosse/field hockey fields are surrounded by rolling fields, hills, valleys, flatlands, pinewoods, vernal pools, and bordered on the west by the Paskamamsett River, which is spanned nearby by a bridge on the famous King’s Highway leading from Plymouth to Newport and used during colonial times. The campus is also adjacent to the multi-acre Gidley Preserve and within easy walking distance to Gidley Pond. Walking, hiking and running trails abound.
Both a high- and low ropes course have been installed for the school’s Outdoor Education program, and on-site campsites are used for 5th and 6th grade overnights. Several outdoor basketball courts and playgrounds are located close to campus buildings.