Manchester, NH After a busy first month at the site of the Derryfield School’s future dining facility, design-builder Eckman Construction paused work for an evening to allow school leadership, staff, community members and project partners to celebrate the start of construction with a ceremonial groundbreaking.
“Sometimes with groundbreaking ceremonies, you get started when you can get started, especially in this environment,” said Andy Chappell, head of School.“We are very thankful for our partners at Eckman. To get us to this point already, so early in the process, we never imagined that we would be this far along.”
The Commons will provide a 12,000 s/f addition, featuring a dining area with seating for 300+, an open servery with food stations, a pizza oven, a commercial kitchen that will house a wide range of commercial cooking equipment, and an auxiliary dish room.
The design is intended to create a bright, welcoming, and inspiring atmosphere. Exposed heavy timber trusses will allow the structure to clear span the entire dining space and provide a vaulted ceiling. Additional dormer windows and a cupola will allow natural light to reach deep into The Commons.
Chappell views the future dining commons as “the heart of Derryfield,” describing how the new addition will not only connect the Athletic & Wellness Center with the Upper and Middle School buildings, but also “spiritually allow us to gather each day together to enjoy healthy food and to interact with one another, in community.”
The design-build project team includes Banwell Architects, TF Moran, and W.V. Engineering Associates.
Eckman Construction previously provided design-build services for the Derryfield Athletic & Wellness Center and Science & Innovation Centers, both completed in 2019, and awarded the 2020 Excellence in Construction Award for the design-build category.