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Deconstructing Construction

Munger Hall hits home stretch for fall

Munger Hall, which will house the new Academic Resource Center (ARC) and visual arts classrooms, is projected to open in the fall. The progress was evident during my March 9 tour with Head of School Barbara Wagner and Dean Whaley, the project superintendent.

The roof is coated in white to deflect heat and minimize  energy costs. The building’s outer walls have many windows, giving the building a contemporary edge and allowing more natural light. The ARC’s most prominent feature is the new skylight.

“We wanted the new building to look contemporary, but be respectful of the classical lines in the current building,” Wagner said.  “We planned it so it wouldn’t clash and so that it would have a consistent look that was just more contemporary.”

Construction began last summer with the two-story underground parking structure, which will accommodate approximately 100 cars.

“We were able to work all summer without rain, so we timed that right,” Wagner said.

The construction team has also taken action to save the two trees near the corner of Rossmore and Third.

“It was important to save the two trees because they have been part of our campus for many, many years,” Wagner said.

“We built a special mine shaft to the main storm drain to the street under the trees,” Whaley said.

The new building will include a new cargo elevator, designed for maintenance, deliveries, and even for transporting a piano up to the new ARC.  There is also a new multimedia and graphic design room and a room for a kiln.

All these details have taken a dedicated team.  According to Whaley, there were 111 construction workers during the project’s highest point.  At the time of our tour, there were about 80 workers on site.