June is typically a quiet month on campus. We take a collective deep breath following a long school year, begin preparations for summer programs to begin in July, and dig into the necessary administrative work to ready us for the coming school year. This June is quite different, for all good reasons!
With an earlier than normal Commencement and last week’s virtual reunion that, while extremely enjoyable, didn’t require any campus preparations, we have jumped into summer projects headfirst.
Two critical Bicentennial Campaign priorities are underway. First, the complete renovation of Lane Hall is well into the demolition phase as we bring this important humanities building up to par with the likes of Meservey and Pilalas. A new building envelope, necessary HVAC systems, improved access egresses, and a fully developed third floor will improve the learning experience for students while supporting the needs of faculty.
Second, the Academic Research Center is undergoing renovations following the relocation of the School’s library to the Gordon-Nash Library. The college office and Innovation Lab are moving to the main floor that formally housed the circulation desk, library offices, and book space, providing expanded space on the second floor for the language department.
The main floor will also become the physical home for our Entrepreneurial Studies program. In addition to our innovation equipment, this new facility will include a multipurpose classroom and event space, along with a seminar and break-out room. We are excited to open the space for the opening of school in the fall.
Gordon-Nash Library Public Opening
After significant renovations and a long wait due to COVID-19 restrictions, we opened the Gordon-Nash Library to the greater New Hampton community this week. The formerly private non-profit library serving the town and Lakes Region patrons is now owned and operated by New Hampton School as a joint-use facility. Local patrons were delighted with the improvements to the building and equally excited about the partnership opportunities between the school and the community that the library will facilitate.
Virtual Reunion 2021
I want to thank the many alumni who joined us for Virtual Reunion 2021. Attendees commented on the strong relationships they formed with adults while on campus and the important lessons they imparted. I was particularly moved by the comments from alumni about impact members of our legends panel—Mark Tilton, Adam Tyson, Ruth Wahl, Jen McMahon, Veronica Lima-De Angelis, Amy Wilson, and Russ Brummer—continue to have on their lives and the laughter generated by stories from the past.
We are all fortunate to be part of this historic institution that has played such a key role in the development of young men and women who have gone on to do great things in their lives, and I commend current and former faculty and staff who have devoted their professional lives to the service of others.
Thank you for your continued support for New Hampton School, and we eagerly await fall events on campus that I hope you will find time to participate in. Whether you graduated five or 50 years ago, this will always be your school, and we encourage your presence on campus, participation in events, and involvement in alumni programming.
With warm wishes for a relaxing and enjoyable summer,
Joe Williams P’22
I ‘m sure I am in the minority but I for one wish all the old buildings on campus like Randall, Meservy, Berry, Lane, Preston etc. were kept as they were originally built so as to preserve the old time feel of a New England prep school. Build new buildings if needed but keep the original ones original. Unfortunately its too late for that.
While we wish that buildings withstand the test of time, sadly they eventually need updating to preserve the structure and to be brought up to code for accessibility. The renovations will keep the historic feel of Lane Hall while providing much-needed updates to ensure that it will stand for another 200 years and beyond. If there is one thing we know it is that we must adapt in order to continue contributing in meaningful ways to an ever-changing world.
As someone who was deeply involved in the demolition and replacement of Randall I can attest that very strong consideration was given to preservation of the historic structure and feel of the building but it could not be done without enormous expense and structural risk. For instance, the brick exterior was a single layer of bricks, so the underlying wall would need major temporary reinforcement at considerable extra expense and could well have collapsed once removal of internal load-bearing structures was undertaken. The purpose of the project was, after all, to provide up-to-date classrooms and labs for the future. The ceiling heights were not compatible, the new building is three stories compared to four in the old. And the budget did not admit of the additional expenditure. New Hampton has never been a “wealthy” school, we have to get maximum value for every dollar spent as well as build our endowment to fund and preserve the future.
So great to see these photos of New Hampton, it is fantastic to see the school and community continue to re-develop. NHS will always hold a special place in my life, I miss it everyday.