After months of planning and preparation, the temporary classroom building on the Randolph campus’s southwest side is open. As of March 27, most Upper School History and World Language classes are meeting in the building. The former home of those classes—the East Wing, which extends from the northwest corner of Old Main, SPA’s original building—is now being prepared for demolition as construction on the Hugh K. Schilling Math and Science center begins.
The “temp” building is now home to twelve classrooms, each outfitted with a Harkness table, a whiteboard, a built-in ceiling projector, wall-to-wall carpeting, bookshelves, and teacher work space. The twelve Upper School teachers now conducting classes in the temp space are History faculty Ben Bollinger-Danielson, Nan Dreher, Sushmita Hodges, Ryan Oto, Jon Peterson, Aaron Shulow, and Mollie Ward; and World Language faculty Jutta Crowder, Pete Daniels, Aimeric Lajuzan, Pam Starkey, and Tian Wang.
Upper School Principal Chris Hughes spent the last few months working with faculty, the construction team, and the SPA facilities staff on the features of the temp building. “It was important that we had adequate space for the Harkness tables because we needed to maintain that signal element of our program,” Hughes says. “We also wanted to ensure that the teachers would have their own classrooms and work spaces.to make it as comfortable as possible for everyone.” Hughes notes that members of the Facilities team met individually with each teacher to make sure they understood how to set up each of the twelve classrooms.
The first week of classes in the temp building went well, according to the teachers now housed there, who are settling into their new spaces after working hard to make each classroom feel welcoming. “I appreciate that such nice temporary teaching space is provided for us,” says Chinese teacher Tian Wang. “So far, both my students and I have enjoyed working in my new classroom.”
History teacher and Senior Speech advisor Aaron Shulow is also appreciative of all the work that went into the temp building. “Pete, Mark, Eugene, Bill, and the entire Facilities staff did a remarkable job in helping us quickly make the new space our own with their attentiveness, expertise and seemingly indefatigable patience with any number of various requests,” Shulow says.