Construction is underway on a new entrance to the Brooks School campus. Routed through 1116 Great Pond Road, a property the school acquired in 2017, the new entrance winds its way along the base of Observatory Hill and the pastoral fields that surround it before connecting to Chapel Road, which brings visitors directly to the admission parking area.
Over the years, the school has transitioned from using the north gate as its main entrance, which was inherently dangerous given the traffic at that intersection, to directing campus visitors through the south entrance.
"We have been searching for a 'front door' to the school for some time, as the north entrance has become increasingly dangerous and impractical," said Head of School John Packard. "Our purchase of 1116 Great Pond Road opened up a new option that allows first-time visitors and those of us who are on campus routinely to fully appreciate the vistas and magnificence of our campus."
Bulldozers and dump trucks started arriving on campus during Spring Break. Although the project will take almost four months to complete, it became clear almost immediately that the new road will be a vast improvement.
"The impact of the new entrance will have a significant safety impact," said the school's Chief Financial Officer Paul Griffin. "This entrance will have a security gate, and it creates a longer drive to reach campus buildings. This will become the main entrance to campus, so it will allow the school to close off the current center entrance to outside visitors."
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The benefits of the new entrance go beyond making the campus more secure.
"The new road is set within a meadow and captures the pastoral feel that is unique to Brooks," said landscape architect Andrew Leonard. "The road sits at the grade of the meadow and fits into the landscape. Trees will be added to line the drive and frame views. Stone farm walls, similar to what was used at Trustey Field, will welcome visitors to campus and are visible along the drive."
The new entrance also allows the school to tear up the old south entrance, which has a positive environmental impact.
Brooks recognizes the history of our 270 acres with a Land Acknowledgment that students created.
"We are moving the driveway away from wetlands that feed directly to the lake, which provides drinking water to the town and the school," said Leonard. "Whenever possible, Brooks tries to improve the quality and cleanliness of the stormwater runoff, which has a direct impact on the quality of the lake's water. The project also includes rain gardens that clean water from Great Pond Road, and water quality drainage structures to clean water from the new drive; there are no water quality controls along the existing entrance road."
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