Academics / Community

What classrooms will look like next year

Next year, Dana Hall faculty and students will return to a campus under construction. Without the use of the Classroom Building, which is being remodeled, a temporary building with six classrooms will be installed by the softball field close to the Riding Center and Shipley. Students will also have classes in familiar spaces, including the science classrooms and conference rooms in the Student Center. Temporary partitions in the library will create more classrooms there.

The classrooms in the temporary building will be bigger than many in the old Classroom Building. All will have electricity, water, wifi and academic technology, as well as a modern HVAC (heating and cooling) system that makes them more comfortable. 

One foreseen challenge is passing time between classes. The location of the new temporary classrooms means that the orientation of the campus is shifting to between the science wing and Shipley, which requires longer walks between classes on different sides of campus. There is currently no additional passing time in the new schedule, but Director of Upper School Jessica Keimowitz says the school will “see how things evolve” next year to determine whether more passing time is necessary. For students with injuries or disabilities who may have trouble with a longer walk, Ms. Keimowitz says that Campus Safety will assist with transportation. The new classroom building will be much more accessible.

Many of students’ usual hangouts, such as “the pit” for juniors and Student Affairs for seniors, will be inaccessible next year. Ms. Keimowitz suspects that the Library and Common Ground will become more heavily trafficked by students next year as students organically find spaces to socialize. Seniors will use the Hub in Shipley as a class space.

While construction may be a concern next year in some ways, such as loudness from trucks or the construction process, Ms. Keimowitz describes it as “short-term discomfort for long-term gain.” She also sees positives, like opportunities for learning, “whether it’s engineering or physics or the environmental sustainability of the insulation… there are so many real life examples that will be happening right in front of us.”

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