Next Campus Renovations Priorities: Boyden Library and Athletics

As the school community enjoys the newly renovated Hess Center, it reminds us of how the Deerfield facilities and setting significantly enhance the learning experience for students, faculty and staff. Not surprisingly, the work to maintain and enhance the campus is never ending. The routine maintenance of dormitories, faculty housing and academic buildings continues to keep pace with the normal wear and tear. This includes the renovations to the dormitories to accommodate the creation of the ninth grade village. The renovations to Johnson and Doubleday allow us to begin the process of including at least one ADA accessible bathroom with a shower in each dormitory. Looking to the future, the Deerfield administration and Board of Trustees is now focused on the next several campus projects: renovating Boyden Library and the ice rink, and the addition of a field house.

Boyden Library. As a key hub on campus, the library is frequented by students, faculty and staff to do research and study and as a classroom location. Beginning June first, it will undergo an $11.5 million renovation and revitalization project. The exterior of the building will remain unchanged but with all new windows and doors. Meanwhile the interior layout will be reconfigured and refurbished with newer, more technologically advanced spaces. There will be additional classrooms, group study rooms, and student carrels as well as an expanded Innovation Lab, an “Ideation Room” and several new offices further enhancing its role on campus. Notably, the College Advising Office and the Academic Dean’s offices will be located on the second floor of the Library and the new Center for Service and Global Citizenship will reside on the first floor.

As Dr. Curtis noted, “Our decision to renovate the library and to bring many of our curricular and programmatic initiatives under one roof stems from our broader institutional commitment to remain relevant in an educational environment defined by constant change, disruption, and increasing global competition.  Our fundamental aim is to instill curiosity and intrinsic motivation in our students, by inviting them into a dynamic, experimental and collaborative environment that fosters continuous questioning, imagining, and learning.  Experiencing the joy of inquiry and discovery in this new, compelling space will empower students to approach novel situations and the unknown with confidence and skill.”

The “mods”, modular units on the east side of campus will serve as the Library until the renovation work is completed in December 2015.

Athletic Facilities. The Board has also approved the initial design process for a project to renovate the ice rink and to build a new field house. As part of the Campus Master Plan completed last year, two of the top three most popular facilities priorities identified by the students were a new field house and ice rink. Currently Deerfield is one of only two schools in the Eight Schools Association without a field house which would provide much needed indoor practice space during our long winters. The ice rink is also one of the oldest in the league and is environmentally inefficient with no dehumidification and little insulation.

An anonymous lead donor has contributed a substantial amount of the capital required allowing for the school this spring to engage in the selection process for an architectural firm to design the facility. If additional fundraising, design and construction proceed as planned, Chief Financial Officer Keith Finan estimates that the field house and rink will be ready for play in the fall of 2018. According to Dr. Curtis, “we believe that an enhanced athletics complex will allow us to yield high impact scholar-athletes during the admission process, and to revitalize our high visibility sports in the near future.”

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