Outside and in, construction on Brooks School's new Center for the Arts is headed toward the home stretch!
After more than a year of work, contractors have begun the final phase of building the $28 million facility that is expected to open in about three months.
"It is incredibly exciting to see the Center for the Arts and surrounding area progressing in tangible ways almost every day," said Head of School John Packard P'18, P'21 about the 45,000 gross-square-foot structure that will join the visual, musical and performing arts spaces together in the center of campus. "We can't wait to run into the space when it opens in the fall!"
Ahead of schedule since spring, progress has been speeding along this summer, too, thanks to the 80 workers on site daily.
"The center is buzzing with construction activity these days," reports Consigli Construction Project Manager Joe Napolitano '09, who has been working with Consigli Construction Vice President of Project Services Todd McCabe '89, P'15 on the building since the beginning, shortly after our May 2017 groundbreaking during Alumni Weekend.
As of this week, the metal roof is complete and the wood and metal siding is approximately 80 percent complete. And the change in the outdoor areas is easy to see.
"The courtyard between the new Center for the Arts, the Danforth gym and the dining hall is starting to take shape," said Napolitano. "Prefabricated stone walls have been set and the exposed aggregate concrete walkways and stairs were placed during the past couple of weeks."
Inside the "game changing" facility — which will include a 330-seat theater, five ensemble rooms, four practice rooms, 2D and 3D studios, a digital media lab, photography studio and dark room as well as a scene shop, costume shop, and two changing rooms — various areas are transforming week by week.
"In the Theater, the scaffolding for the stage has been removed and the hanging wood ceilings are now being installed on the scaffolding in the theater seating area," said Napolitano. By mid-July, the seating scaffolding will be removed.
Meanwhile in the lower level, "we have started to polish the concrete floors and install tackboards and shelves," he said. As for the upper level, "all classrooms have drywall installed and the painter has been working on priming all walls where taping is complete."
Simultaneously, ceiling framing has begun for the wood ceilings and the entire corridor of "Arts Street," which connects the performance, music and visual arts areas of the facility, has been dry walled. What's next? Another essential: Tile work in the bathrooms.