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Buildings & Grounds Spend Their Summer on the Four “Rs” of Campus Upkeep

No doubt Ravenscroft’s faculty, staff and students enjoyed a summer vacation full of “Rs”: rest and relaxation, recreation, maybe even some reading. The dedicated members of the Ravenscroft Buildings & Grounds Department spent their June, July and August hard at work on the four “Rs” of summer on campus — several major renovations, plus repairs, replacements and refreshes — in preparation for the new school year. 

New PreK Learning Center

One major project involved creating a space dedicated to the unique needs of the school’s youngest students. The new PreK Learning Center opens this year in an extensively renovated pod along the back of Holding Hall, offering three classrooms and a light-filled common area where students can explore centers, enjoy lunch and feel at home in a space designed just for them. The new “storefront” entrance off the Lot E carpool lane eases daily transitions.

“The entire space was created with PreK in mind, including its proximity to the Butterfly Garden and Holding Garden,” Head of Lower School Nicole Girvan said. “The feel and the familiarity of the space are crucial to a young child’s ability to learn, grow and dream.”

New Lower School Fine Arts Center

The relocation of several fine arts classrooms and private-lesson studios to make way for the PreK Center created the opportunity for another thoughtful renovation, this one in the Richards Hall annex. The new Lower School Fine Arts Center unites all Lower School fine arts faculty and comfortably accommodates art, music, choir and strings classes in a single, shared facility that’s just steps away from Holding Hall. A central commons provides a convenient place for rehearsals and performances.

“The Lower School Fine Arts Center provides us an opportunity to have collaboration across all of the fine arts,” David McChesney, director of fine arts, said. “Every child in the Lower School will enjoy fine arts classes there. It’s another differentiator for Ravenscroft.”

New Upper School Administrative Office and College Counseling Renovations

Following the late-2018 implementation of a key-card access control system in the Upper School (as well as the Middle School and the Keim Center), this summer the administrative offices have been moved to the outside corner of Murphy Hall (formerly home to the Upper School Café) to create a welcoming main entrance with staff supervision. As part of the project, the College Counseling suite on the second floor was expanded and remodeled to create a large central commons area for small groups and college presentations.

“The student experience around College Counseling is going to be amazing,” Aaron Sundstrom,  interim head of Upper School, said. “It will be the marquee space in the Upper School.”

Upper School Café Relocation and New Terrace (opening soon)

The corresponding relocation of the Upper School Café to the area formerly occupied by the administrative offices has yielded upgraded seating in a revitalized space with great views of the campus green. The addition of a large terrace on the interior side of Murphy Hall will further supplement social spaces for Upper School students, addressing an important need.

“Research showing that adolescents need unstructured time for optimal social-emotional development drove the creation of our current daily schedule, which includes study halls and community time,” Sundstrom said. “Providing social spaces for our students supports their healthy development.”

And that’s not all! Here are some additional summer projects, upgrades and maintenance work completed over the summer:

Lower School 

  • Roof restoration over the main part of the building and the new PreK Learning Center

  • Installation of two new HVAC units

  • Installation of new carpet in eight classrooms and Extended Day area

  • Fresh paint in 10 classrooms

Middle School

  • Installation of new sink in the MakerSpace

  • Installation of new doorway connecting the MakerSpace to the engineering classroom

  • New seating for commons, hallway alcoves and sixth-grade hall

Head of School Suite in Fine Arts Center 

  • Conversion of conference room into office for Associate Head of School for Academics and Student Life

  • Creation of new waiting area for Head of School guests

A.E. Finley Activity Center and Athletic Fields 

  • Installation of new HVAC system for Main Arena

  • Installation of new roof over Auxiliary Gym

  • Renovation and installation of new equipment in the weight room (opening soon)

  • Repair of two sinkholes on the football field