CHAC Update

A progress update on the construction of the Catherine Houghton Arts Center!

Construction of the Catherine Houghton Arts Center is now underway! Local contractors, J.A. Corey Electric of Littleton, NH and M.E. Johnston Excavating of Thornton, NH, are hard at work, laying out the path of the building’s utilities and preparing the ground that the building will soon stand on. 

While campus is buzzing with activity, much of the construction is currently occurring off-site at Bensonwood, which will prefabricate the building and act as general contractor on this project. For more than 40 years, Bensonwood has delivered uncompromising quality and innovation in timber frame, hybrid and fully panelized, non-timberframe high-performance building. Through its unique Open-Built® system, Bensonwood incorporates advanced technologies and environmentally responsible practices in all its buildings.

The Catherine Houghton Arts Center will be a 5000 square foot building with two dance studios, a music studio with a recording studio, an art studio that opens to the outdoors, and a ceramics kiln. We’ll also have an outdoor amphitheater and a bridge connecting the second floor of the arts center to the McLane Building. The Catherine Houghton Arts Center will be a net-zero energy building, with solar panels supporting the heating and electrical needs of the building. The arts center was designed by past parent and current trustee Will Ruhl, of Ruhl Walker Architects, so we are confident that this building will hold true to our campus aesthetic and mission of sustainability.

In homage to Catherine “Kitty” Houghton ‘60, a timber and glass curtain wall will commemorate her love of music and her vital financial contributions in support of this building and of music at WMS.

The new arts center will stand as a beautiful, functional facility where our students can let their creativity shine.  It will embody the values that Kitty championed for our School. The Catherine Houghton Arts Center is scheduled to open in early 2014, and we’ll be keeping you updated on its development every step of the way.

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