Since Frederick Winsor imagined the Middlesex campus over a century ago, many of the original buildings remain virtually unchanged. The original construction has proven itself so sturdy that decades later, many students find themselves in the very rooms our first graduates inhabited. Living, working, and growing in old buildings carries both charms and challenges. The beautiful materials with which our dorms were constructed often lack the noise and temperature insulation of modern materials, and contemporary building and fire codes require updating as our use of living spaces on campus evolves.
This year, we will take another step in modernizing two of our original dormitory buildings: LeBaron Briggs and Robert Winsor, fondly nicknamed “LB” and “RW.” Roof demolition on RW began this winter to make way for new slate. The new materials were carefully chosen to match the original campus design by the Olmsted Brothers’ firm, and to ensure durability for another century to come.
Over spring break, 150 windows in LB and RW will be replaced in a carefully choreographed exercise that keeps the safety and well-being of our students and faculty our top priority. Our campus planning staff will assist in packing, temporary storage, and laundering of student belongings, and has organized periodic evening meetings with the students to inform them of the exciting modifications.
In LB, a new temporary common room on the second floor will provide communal space until the permanent, first-floor common rooms are complete for both dorms prior to the 2014-2015 school year. These common rooms, ubiquitous in the newer residence halls on campus, are important public meeting spaces, and help define each dorm’s community and culture. Dorms will close for the summer on June 1, and construction will commence promptly on June 2.
Chief Operating Officer Matt Crozier and Project Manager Steve McKeown have committed countless hours of planning and preparation to ensure the smooth execution of these renovation projects while maintaining the appearance and utility of the buildings. Erland Construction, Inc., the general contractor, brings a breadth of experience working on school campuses. The staging and scaffolding currently adorning the dorms will be removed in time for graduation in order to preserve the background for the traditional promenade of the graduates from the Chapel to Eliot Hall.
A construction access road behind the Chapel provides safe access to the LB and RW work sites without using the front driveway, and at the conclusion of the project, re-grading and re-sodding of the Chapel Field used for Girls’ Varsity Soccer and Lacrosse will solve a longstanding drainage problem.
The School continues to plan for the construction of a new residence hall, the renovation of Clay House, and work for the beautification of the Locke Boathouse and the removal of invasive species along the shoreline of Bateman’s Pond. For more information on any of the ongoing projects or upcoming planning, please contact COO Matt Crozier at email@example.com.