Last week’s snow plowing of the Gardner campus front lawn may have seemed like a strange sight, but the work was an essential first step in preparing for our new science and technology building.
Following an extensive planning and design phase that began in 2013, the front lawn of the campus was identified as the most feasible site to accommodate the new building, which will provide much-needed upgrades to our 40-year-old campus, particularly in the growing STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Now, site preparation work is underway, with construction slated to begin in April.
To make way for the new addition, the three maple trees were removed as planned, though they will maintain a permanent place on our campus. The wood is being sent to a mill, where it will be cut into boards and kiln dried. Once the amount and quality of the boards are known, the lumber will be repurposed for commemorative items, such as a conference table, podium, benches and plaques.
Late last week and early this week, division offices on the second and third floor are being relocated to adjacent classrooms to make way for demolition that will provide connection from the Haley building to the new wing. This week’s construction activities also will include more site preparation and erosion control measures, additional trailers for the contractor, construction fencing, excavation for relocating our 12-inch water line, and removal of the satellite dishes.
During the week of March 23, the west ramp will be removed, offices on the second and third floor will be demolished, and construction partitions will be installed within the Haley building. Blue tape on the floor indicates the location of these temporary partitions (first floor between Murphy Conference Room and Marketing, women’s restroom near library, basement women’s room and police locker rooms, second and third floor division offices, second floor women’s room and faculty women’s room near room 247, third floor women’s room and faculty women’s room near room 347). A men’s restroom on each floor in the same hallway will be designated for use by women. The stairwell on the east end of the Art Wing will also be blocked.
“It’s exciting to see actual progress,” said President Asquino. “Our intent is to get this project completed as quickly as possible with minimum disruption. We realize there will be inconvenience for all, but the end will be worth the efforts.”
Construction is expected to take 18 months, and updates will be posted regularly. The college is coordinating with the State’s Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) for a date for a ground breaking ceremony.
Questions or concerns may be directed to Vice President of Finance and Administration Bob LaBonte, or Associate Vice President of Facilities Management Jon Wyman.