Renovation and Renewal
As the strategic planning process unfolded, it was clear that renovations and improvements to the school facilities would be an important part of maintining the school's strength. In 2013 a Building Committee was formed to help prioritize the school's needs and formulate plans.
The first phase of renovations and remodeling, scheduled for summer 2015, includes major upgrades to the biology and chemistry labs, rooms 1B and 1C, and the space in between, located on the alley-facing side of the first floor. Plans include:
- Arranging classrooms with furnishings that allow for small-group and lab activities of the lab at the perimeter of each room and lecture/discussion/demonstration activities focused in the center.
- Enlarging or adding windows on the hallway side of the rooms to make science more visible to visitors and to non-science students.
- Increasing the amount of space where teachers can prepare demonstration or lab materials while the classrooms are occupied. The area between the classrooms, now being used as offices and chemical storage, is enlarged by extending it over the stairwell from the first floor to the basement. Doubled in size, the larger space will provide two offices as well as two prep rooms, and slightly enlarges the classrooms themselves.
|Perspective view of room 1C (left), prep and office spaces (center), and room 1B (right) following the planned renovations. Click this image to open a larger version in a new browser tab or window.|
The decision to extend the science spaces over the basement stairs led directly to another significant question: how to connect the first floor to the lower level. The answer was simple (in concept at least): extend the stairway on the Dartmouth St. side of the building down. Doing so will make it easier to go from upper floors to the basement, and it will help funnel that traffic into a reconfigured lower level, including an enlarged and reorganized food service area. As a bonus, adding the new staircase will widen the uncomfortably cramped passage between the Dartmouth and Commonwealth lobbies.