In managing the construction of CA Labs, Don Kingman, director of operations, had a bold idea. “What if we could enhance not just the science building, but the entire front door of our school?” he asked recently. “What if we could upgrade connected facilities simultaneously?” After a few months of research, and with the board’s support, that’s precisely what CA plans: a series of connected renovations that will improve the Quad, reconﬁgure the lobby of the Main School, and renew the library and improve traffic flow through that space.
See a slideshow below of the plans for this summer.
The work will start with the Quad, now a staging area for construction equipment during the CA Labs renovation. As resodding will already be necessary, Kingman plans to regrade the Quad to improve drainage while retaining its dimensions. Adding lighting in keep-ing with the historic district along the walkways around the perimeter will improve visibility.
Considerable thought has been given to how the front of CA Labs will adjoin the Main School building and to how CA’s existing historic architectural vocabulary will combine with contemporary materials such as glass and steel. A reconfigured lobby will improve energy efficiency while visually defining the primary academic center on campus. CA plans to renovate the adjacent stone courtyard and steps to create a clear and welcoming entrance to the school, while allowing for handicap access and connecting to the granite and brick walkway that greets visitors at the Main Gate.
In turn, this Main School Lobby (see below) will connect to the J. Josephine Tucker Library, which hasn’t been renovated since the 1980s. As part of this project, CA plans to retain the library’s existing footprint and historic rafters while improving pedestrian access, adding an office, and upgrading the furniture — as well as adding a study space with a view of the Chapel and Chapel lawn.
With each of these projects, the goal is the same: to preserve CA’s historic character while making a few strategic investments that increase opportunities for collaboration and quiet reflection alike — well in advance of the school’s centennial in 2022–23.
Terminology: Main School Lobby
The Art-Science Lobby (ASL) was so named because, when the building was erected in 1964, it housed both arts and science classrooms. In 1992, the Math and Arts Center (MAC) was constructed, and the arts had a new home. The completion of CA Labs and the new courtyard will present an opportunity to begin referring to the space, more accurately, as the Main School Lobby (MSL).