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Why the North Campus Project Is Taking So Long

Sachi Bhati

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Molly Briggs ‘19, Contributor

Everyone has been at least a little frustrated with the seemingly never ending North Campus Project, but no one seems to know why it’s taking so long or what’s actually happening. Well, it all started Mike Leonard ’83, a trustee past parent and current grandparent, with a long career as a YMCA swim coach. He gave a generous gift to the school that began the project. This renovation has been necessary for a while (the North Gym building was fifty years old), so it was time for an upgrade.

Everything in the building is going to be new. There’s going to be a completely new pool (the only thing staying that’s the same are the walls). The pool lanes will be wider, and an extended seating area will accomodate more students and guests. The weight room will be redone to overlook the pool. The concession stand will be altered into a wet classroom, with glass walls that can look out towards the pool and the common area. One of the main changes will be a public hallway where the front of the boys’ locker room was. There will be doors leading to new offices for PE teachers Steve Conner and Kathy Blum, a guest locker-room, and most importantly the training room. This hallway allows everyone to have access to the training room without having to walk through the boys’ locker room. The refurbished training room will have three training tables and a whirlpool (yes, a whirlpool!). Also, the new building will allow access to the equipment room for female coaches or students. The girls’ locker room, and adding a huddle room will be completely renovated, and include a place for male coaches to meet with female teams. There will also be a female coach locker room, new showers, and new restrooms in the girls’ locker room.

Along with the many changes inside the building, the outside will be renovated. There will be a huge new square footage, and the building is going to come out a lot further into the parking lot. There will be a glass entryway and an inside commons area. This area will give students a new place to be picked up at the end of the school day, since the dining area gets so crowded once the final bell rings. Basically, everything will change but the basketball court.

As Chris Milmoe, Country Day’s athletic director, announced earlier in the year, the construction is behind schedule. The structural damage in the pool walls has caused a major setback in the project. These are the walls that hold up the whole building, so they had to get it fixed. The process is long, and they had to go back for new permitting and wait for it to be accepted. But the reason it’s taking longer is for our safety (we wouldn’t want the building collapsing on top of us, right?) So far they have no firm finish date, but hopefully in the next few months they’ll be a good way into it. Yes, that seems like a long time away, but as Mr. Milmoe says “It’s about growing pains. We have to go through pain to get where we need to be.”

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Why the North Campus Project Is Taking So Long