It’s going to be a noisy summer on campus—in the best way possible. This week, a final timetable for the renovations to the Prince, Lewis, and Carlin buildings was announced, and the long-awaited work is scheduled to get underway May 17.
On that date, says assistant director of finance and operations Tom Bourdeau, “selective demolition” will begin in Prince. The building, housing Middle School classrooms and offices, should look dramatically different when students return next fall. There will be three classrooms—two of them 50 percent larger than existing classrooms—plus two breakout rooms for private meetings or small group work. A large gathering space for community events, as well as refinished offices and restrooms, are also part of the plan. Renovations to the lower level of Carlin, slated to become a new tutoring center, will proceed on the same timetable.
In Prince, new windows using high-performance glass will cut down on glare and improve climate control; those windows will also dramatically change the look and feel of the building. And, says Bourdeau, “From an aesthetic point of view, it’s going to have a whole new look, with finishes, paint colors, and furniture to match The Revers Center. It’s going to be a significant upgrade.”
Triggering the May 17 start is the fact that seniors are no longer on campus on that date, freeing up space for classes displaced by the construction. Bourdeau points out that not many classes are meeting in Prince and Carlin this year anyway, since it’s difficult to comply with COVID guidelines in the small rooms. “But on that magic day, May 17, a number of classrooms around campus are freed up, allowing us to gain space,” Bourdeau adds.
Barring the unforeseen, the Prince building should be ready in mid-August. That will determine the start of the Lewis renovations, explains Bourdeau, as that work cannot commence until Prince is complete. “We can’t have both buildings down; we have to be 100 percent sure we have Prince,” he says. For now, September 1 is the date for “mobilization” of Lewis, and the hope is to have the construction there done by mid-December. The updates there will create dramatic open spaces with views of Nonesuch Pond, along with new science classrooms for the Middle School, a new IT office, renovated classrooms, and a maker space.
Visitors to campus this summer can expect a bit of disruption. “There will be more people and cars on campus, more noise, a dumpster,” says Bourdeau. But, he adds, “It’s nothing too extreme. There are always some disruptions when you’re doing construction on campus.” And it’s the kind of disruption that’s very welcome—portending great gains in spaces, facilities, and resources.