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A project of more than two years and $2.3 million broke ground this month that will expand the international and domestic boarding program at The Calverton School, a private college preparatory day school located in Huntingtown.

The One World Residential Village, a cluster of five dormitory houses located at the north east end of the school’s campus by the athletic fields, are planned to be finished by this fall to welcome up to 50 students, both international and domestic. The dormitories are planned to be a “home away from home” where students, grades 9 through 12, can live while taking classes at the school and participating in after school athletic clubs and arts programs.

“As we continue to develop this program, our kids will learn how to interact with multiple cultures and the main reason a lot of students come to the U.S. is not only to be prepared for the American university system but to really understand American culture,” Spencer Taintor, Calverton’s head of school, said.

Though roughly 60 percent of the school’s population currently reside or are from Calvert County, that number is rapidly changing, said Amy Brady, director of admissions and marketing.

“We do have students from all other countries,” Brady said, including North Korea, China, Bangladesh, Canada, Japan and within the U.S.

Taintor said the program is expecting 36 students representing five different countries in the fall. Taintor said he hopes to expand the program to 10 different countries and host students from Russia, Italy and Mexico.

Currently, more than 28 students within the residential program live with host families within the county or stay off campus at facilities rented by the school.

Dylan Chand, 16, a student from Vancouver, Canada, said he will be happy to move into the dormitories next year so he can go right home after school or practice. Currently, the Calverton junior lives off campus with a host family that care for Chand and 13 other students from China.

“Just being able to live in a smaller house with less guys running around, it will be less hectic,” Chand said.

In Canada, Chand said he attended public school and came to Calverton so he could have a better chance of going to a college or university in the U.S. He said the dorms will provide a convenient and improved way to include the international students with the student population.

“It will bring international students and others here better,” Chand said. “It will integrate them. It will help everyone get to know them better, and it’s an added bonus they’ll be able to be closer to campus and go straight home.”

Each dormitory will have four or five bedrooms, two bathrooms and a separate suite for the house parent, who will be a member of the school staff. Kitchens and laundry rooms, entertainment areas and exercise rooms, also will be included. Taintor said, for the most part, he will expect the students to live as if they were living at a college dorm. The biggest difference, he said, will be the students are not allowed to have cars, so the school will provide transportation and keep track of where the students are. At least two outings will happen every weekend for the students to participate in. The activities will include trips to a mall, local parks, museums, landmarks and sporting events in Annapolis, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Taintor said the biggest challenge in completing this project, so far, has been complying with county and state government laws to build the structures, though no major roadblocks have happened.

“I cannot thank the Calvert County government enough for how easy it has been to work with them on this project for the last two years,” Taintor said in a release. “We are extremely happy that The Calverton School and Southern Maryland will be known globally for the education they provide in an environment that is second to none.”

Financing for the project was made possible by Old Line Bank. In an effort to give back and support the local economy, Taintor said, Quality Built Homes, Hance Construction and Barrett and Associates Engineering, all companies located in Prince Frederick, are constructing the student housing.

The dorms are expected to be finished by Aug. 15, in time for the upcoming school year.

snewman@somdnews.com