New Student Center brings light, space, amenities

corner shotAs the new school year begins, there is clearly one major change on campus: the new Student Center, which has more space, more furniture, and more light than before.

Along with noticeable new architecture, the Student Center has new stairs, conference rooms, bathrooms, windows, furniture, landscape, and a snack bar. Gemma Carr-Locke ’18 says, “I like the design. It’s very modern.” Susie Xu ’17 adds, “I like the new alcoves, how you can have lunch downstairs now.” Head of School Ms. Caroline Erisman says that the ground floor has gained 4,000 square feet.All of the items that were in the building’s storage rooms last year have been moved, with the machinery now on the roof. That new space has been used to make more rooms, giving the Student Center more capacity. Stephanie Daley ’18 says, “I like how many places there are to sit and hang with friends.”

better construction shotWhen students and staff walked onto campus on the first day of the new year, the Student Center was not finished. According to Chief Operating Officer Mr. Charles Breslin, the delay was because some tile did not arrive when expected, putting a hold on some progress. The Student Center opened two weeks late, and Mr. Breslin says that the rest of the patio should be done by late October, and around “Parents’ weekend there should be a big opening.” Also on the patio are to be chairs, tables, umbrellas, and a fire pit which will use natural gas (and which adults will be in charge of turning on and off).

This project got started in spring 2013, when Ms. Erisman met with some current parents and alumnae to
ask about their priorities for renovation. They chose
 the dining center because, according to Ms. Erisman, they felt it “represented community.” front shotMs. Erisman agrees and says that the Student Center “touches every student, every day.” As Mr. Breslin says, it is the center of campus. Sydney Peters ’17 says, “It’s really nice having a spot on campus where students of all grades hang out together…. I really like that.” Next to be renovated is the dormitories.

Ms. Erisman says she was “very pleased” with contractors C. E. Floyd and makes a point of thanking Mr. Breslin, who was “on top of details,” as well as Trustee Mr. Bill Foley and Director of Facilities Mr. Jim Wernig. “Everything works better as a team,” said Ms. Erisman.

Photos: Construction continues on the mostly completed Student Center. Photo credit: Rachel Lawrence.

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