The crunch of wood and metal could be heard throughout campus on June 7, as a demolition crew made quick work of breaking the visual arts and Danforth Memorial buildings into pieces.
For many in the Brooks School community who gazed on while the trucks literally cleared the way for construction on the new Center for the Arts, it was a bittersweet morning bidding farewell to the old structures. Yet for those focused on the future, including Consigli Construction, Co. Assistant Project Manager Joe Napolitano '09, the newly open space on campus was exciting to behold.
"The demolition of the visual arts building is obviously step one of the big picture," said Napolitano, who interned with Consigli when the company built Brooks' Science Center in 2008 as his Students on the Forefront of Science internship under Consigli Project Executive Todd McCabe '89. "The demo process is always a particularly popular process, too, as it usually transforms the site into something people have not seen before."
And that's not a bad thing. "Think about it, at the end of the demolition phase, which will be in the next couple weeks, the entire middle section of campus and Main Street will be open," he said. "You will be able to see Thorne House and the flagpole from the tennis courts!"
The $28 million Center for the Arts — scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2018 — will indeed transform campus, bonding the visual, musical, and performing arts together and placing them on display at the center of everything.
The entire demolition process should be complete by June 16, following the barn take down on June 12 or 13. "The project is off to a fast start," said Napolitano. "We were able to get started a few weeks early with some of the enabling work which puts us in a great position. Right now, there is a heavy focus on getting our final subcontractors on board to help build the Center for the Arts."
Click here to see images of the project as it transforms campus, as well as images from inside the barn pre-construction.
A total of 20 contractors and subcontractors were on site June 7 performing the transformative work. As the project progresses, that number will increase to around 50.
"Getting off to a great start is all about planning and preparation," added Napolitano. "We've worked hard over the last six months with Brooks and the Ann Beha architects in the pre-construction phase to build the job virtually. We've also been able to bring our subcontractor partners on early so that we could be as efficient as possible while working in as many areas as possible. The summer is an important time to get a lot of work done."
Click here to watch Ann Beha architect Lee Berman '07 show the Brooks community what the plans for the Center for the Arts will look like.
For more updates about the Center for the Arts construction project as it unfolds, visit our website and follow Brooks School on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see new photos and news about Brooks School every day throughout the year.