LANCASTER, Mass. –A transcendental meditation movement plans to open a grade school and university in Lancaster, expanding upon a health center it has operated there since 1985.
The Maharishi Ayur-Veda Medical Center sits on 217 acres of land. The 13 new buildings planned will use about 40 acres, said Gregory Spitzfaden, director of the Maharishi group’s New England Reconstruction Office.
The facilities will serve up to 50 students from kindergarten to Grade 12, up to 500 students working on degrees and about 100 staff members, Spitzfaden said.
“All the staff and students would live in these buildings, which are designed to enhance the creativity and good fortune and mental clarity of the people who are living and working and studying in them,” Spitzfaden told the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester in an interview published Thursday.
Spitzfaden says the Lancaster project is expected to cost about $30 million, and the organization already is lining up the funding. He said he hopes construction will begin by the spring.
Lancaster Town Administrator Orlando Pacheco said the group has met the initial zoning requirements.
The organization is made up of followers of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a guru who promotes a wide range of healing and meditation practices.
The group has two universities in Iowa, as well as a full town devoted to its teachings there. The proposed university in Lancaster would be the group’s first American school site outside of Iowa.
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