In April 1953 Arthur Gale, President of Brewster’s Board of Trustees, poked a shovel through the hillside to the south of the Academic Building and launched the dream of the Rogers Gymnasium, a facility “For a Better Brewster and a Sound Mind in a Sound Body.” Sixty-eight years later, that same driving ambition for a facility that would serve as a center for students to gather, create, and collaborate within the same strong bones that served Brewster for more than six decades has guided the journey of today’s reimagined Rogers.
Seven months into this game-changing construction project, the façade of the Rogers has seen some moderate changes to its veneer with the removal of the original Kaywin Fitness Center and some very intentional punctures to the brick to bring light and land inside, taking advantage of the natural grade of the original site and the view corridors to Lake Winnipesaukee. The excavation for this project has been persistent and purposeful, concentrating on erosion control and drainage, as witnessed by the mounds of earth that has been exhumed, added, and moved multiple times! As Mike Beaton, Senior Project Manager at Harvey Construction, reflects, “It has been more about the destruction of the project to this point.” It is the inside where the most noticeable work has been focused on preparing for the vision.
On the lower floor, the original locker rooms along with the dance studio, black box theater, and multiple classrooms serving the media arts have been completely gutted to provide a blank canvas for the second phase of the project: the new and transformed arts and robotics classrooms and exhibit areas. The effort in this space has focused on setting the foundation, establishing and framing the mechanics of the building, reinforcement for the added elevator, and the overall support for the structural needs of the building. As you enter the project from the lower level staircase, the structural steel for the new black box theater and the dance studio is on full display. The worn parquet has been replaced with freshly poured concrete flooring to set the groundwork for the emerging expansive student center area. The amount of space is overwhelming, and it’s thrilling to imagine what comes next!
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