Concord, MA Erland Construction and architectural firm Imai Keller Moore were selected to transform the Fenn School’s existing dining hall building into a brand new dining and learning facility with new classrooms, wood shop, and Innovation Lab. This project, built in two phases, is Erland’s third project working with the school and architectural firm.
The first phase of this 20,250 s/f project involved the demolition and reconstruction of half of an existing building, including the addition of new classrooms on the upper floor, while the other half remained fully operational. The dining hall, and a temporary kitchen that was built, remained fully operational to serve the Fenn student body, faculty, and staff, while wood framing, roofing, and rough interiors for MEP (mechanical, engineering, plumbing) upgrades were being installed on the other side of a shared wall.
A feature of this project is the use of a CLT (cross-laminated timber) wood panelized wall system for the elevator shaft. This building is the first in Massachusetts to use these wall panels for the shaftwall.
The constructed half adjacent to the dining hall includes the school’s Innovation Lab, an active learning center that combines art, science, and technology and cultivates curiosity, imagination, and collaboration, and a new-and-improved wood shop that returns to its prior location on campus. Cross-collaboration between these two adjoining spaces and staffs has expanded curricular opportunities for Fenn students.
The second phase consisted of expanding the dining hall, cafeteria servery, and kitchen, and adding new bathrooms with updated services in the same footprint. Since construction took place while school was in session, Scott Bates, vice president & academic group manager at Erland, said safety and daily communication were of the utmost importance.
“We implemented a traffic flow plan around the construction site that allowed safe access to the dining hall while still in use. Additional precautions were taken by posting extra signage, checking fencing, and monitoring trenching regularly, to make sure students and visitors to campus were safe,” said Bates. “Throughout construction, our safety committee continued to visit the Fenn School campus and inform their project team on what was being done onsite to mitigate risk.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed working closely with the Erland and Imai Keller Moore teams to bring this third major building project to life on our Fenn campus,” said David Platt, Fenn’s assistant headmaster for finance and operations and project manager for the Campus Center construction. “It is always a long and complex journey to bring a project of this magnitude to fruition yet, at the same time, it is so exciting to see a building materialize that will impact the Fenn experience of the next 50+ years of students.”
“Fenn’s new Campus Center has transformed the learning landscape at Fenn,” said headmaster Derek Boonisar. “The community has embraced the beautiful new spaces and the possibilities they provide for enhanced teaching and learning. Our daily lives have improved with a better dining hall experience and more community gathering space, and it has been especially gratifying to see the collaboration that is happening every day across our academic departments and Innovation Lab and Wood Shop teams. All of it together makes for a richer educational experience for our boys.”
The Fenn School, an independent day school for boys in grades 4-9, opened its doors in 1929.