Renovation 2008: Early plans, construction and completion
Abiding by the values that have guided Cold Spring since its
earliest days, trustees, faculty and staff created a map for the future.
In early 2004, when planning for our future campus was evolving, Cold
Spring had also recently purchased and razed a decaying building
adjacent to what is now referred to as “the main school building.” So
envisioning a presence on the block that extended from Chapel Street to
Saltonstall Avenue was a leap, if not an outright fantasy. The plan
didn’t end with real estate but went on to describe “dedicated space for
art and music, and additional classroom space allowing the school to
accommodate up to 150 students,” as well as a stand-alone multi-purpose
room for fitness classes and school meetings.
The usually quiet summer months were anything but over the
summer of 2008 as we took a giant step toward realizing a significant
part of the planning begun in 2004. A year before renovation and
construction were expected to begin, a committee was convened and
charged with recommending an architect to design a master plan for our
project. The committee was unanimous in its choice of Turner Brooks
Architects, which took on the first phase of the vision. Turner and
architect Sonya Hals devised a seemingly simple and elegant plan for
joining and renovating the buildings at 64 and 68 James Street that the
school purchased in 2002 and 2005.
In late spring 2008 the fun and demolition began along with the
nearly impossible task of completing the project—with Certificate of
Occupancy in hand—before school started.
When teachers returned on August 21 it was evident that the
project was coming down to the wire. The first of three coats of
urethane had been applied to the new wood floors, and our fingers were
crossed for good drying weather. Finally, on Friday (what would have
been the start of the Labor Day weekend) we got the thumbs-up to begin
moving the music, art, and 5/6 class materials into the new spaces.
Everyone dropped what he or she was doing and by late in the
day, the move was complete. That weekend, teachers and administrators
came and went to unpack or put the finishing touches on their
classrooms. The first day of school was warm and sunny with little
visible evidence to suggest the work that had taken place in such a
short amount of time.
With the construction pressures of last summer behind us,
students enjoy music classes in a light-filled second-floor room with
ample space for teaching the architecture of music through percussive
and melodic instruction and instruments.
The 5/6 classroom, also on the second floor, is separated from
the music room by a connector that joins the two buildings. This
classroom is also an airy and sunny room with space for class meetings
and tables for collaborative and individual work. On the first floor
below the 5/6 classroom is the art studio where students meet for
classes and an open studio option. Students and teachers function so
effortlessly in these new spaces, it is difficult to remember it any
We will have our work cut out for us as we look to the future
and begin planning for the new multi-purpose building, a place where the
entire Cold Spring community can congregate and that will offer ample
space for our fitness program. But, in the interim, we can take a moment
to appreciate just how far we’ve come and extend a heartfelt “thank
you” to all those whose work and vision made this possible.
Click here to see more renovation photos >>
Renovation completed, September 2008
Moving day: fifth and sixth grade books en route to the new classroom
Students in the new music classroom