When White Mountain students return for the fall 2020 semester, they will be greeted by a new two-story, 30-bed dormitory on the former sites of Carriage House and Green House. The new dormitory, which will include three new faculty apartments, represents the first new student housing in over four decades at White Mountain, the last of which was Solar Dormitory in the 1970s. A new faculty residence will also be built nearby, which, among other things, will help the School accommodate mid-to-large-sized families.
Want to learn more about how this groundbreaking project came to fruition and how these new facilities will improve community and accessibility for White Mountain? Check out the 2019-2020 issue of Echoes, the School’s alumnae/i magazine, which will arrive in mailboxes later this spring. Until then, please enjoy this mid-year update from White Mountain CFO Rob Constantine.
Despite winter, work continues in earnest on this exciting construction project at The White Mountain School. Most of the fall was spent focused on clearing two existing facilities (Green House and Carriage House) from the site and finalizing plans with input from students, faculty, and staff. We finalized plans for the new faculty residence in January and plans for the new dorm at the beginning of February. Plans for the new dorm are on display in the lobby of McLane Building and are generating a lot of excitement among students, especially as the enrollment process for next year begins!
In an effort to maximize our short building window due to weather and school-year calendar, the Board of Trustees decided to use a modular building process for both facilities. We had wonderful success with this in completing another faculty duplex in 2017 and are working with the same builder for the current project. They are familiar with schools—having worked with Proctor Academy and the University of New Hampshire to provide new residences, along with many other commercial and residential projects. Using a modular process allows building and site work to take place simultaneously and during the dead of winter, cutting down building time significantly. Modular building also allows for maximum energy efficiency since units are prepared and sealed off-site and in a controlled setting, minimizing the potential for gaps in insulation. Since the modular construction facility is located nearby in New Hampshire, this also minimizes the environmental and financial impacts associated with transporting the units to the site. The faculty unit is already under construction in their workshop!
January was a busy month on-site. Early in the month, the excavation team focused on roughing out the site to identify and remove ledge. As expected here in the White Mountains of the Granite State, there was some ledge, but we were able to minimize the need for blasting through siting of the two facilities. For a couple of days, there was a little excitement to know that three whistles meant 15 minutes and one whistle meant an imminent blast and low rumble if you were in the vicinity! Once the ledge was cleared, our focus moved to preparing the site for foundations. At the end of January, the faculty unit site was fully prepared, and we expect to begin pouring foundation in early February. The larger dorm site should be ready by the end of February for that foundation.
We expect to set the faculty residence modulars in March and the dorm units in late April. Once those are in place, it will be a flurry of activity tying everything together, finishing landscaping the site—with a few new large rocks incorporated into the plans—and welcoming students in September with the opening of the 2020-2021 school year.
Founded in 1886 and set in the beautiful White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, The White Mountain School is a coeducational college-preparatory boarding and day school for 135 students grades 9-12/PG. Our mission is to be a school of inquiry and engagement. Grounded in an Episcopal heritage, White Mountain prepares and inspires students to lead lives of curiosity, courage, and compassion.