New Residence Hall Underway

 In Brewster News, Featured, Student Life

Updates by Lisa Braiterman, Chief Financial Officer

All photos referenced here can be viewed in our Flickr album.

April – As we start the final weeks of construction we have many contractors working simultaneously both inside and outside. Last week when I was onsite I counted at least 25 people at work! Faculty units are painted and cabinets are going into the new kitchens. The exterior is being sided and our site contractor SADCO is back on site completing water and sewer connections and shaping the land for final landscaping. I have been busy with the sub-contractors approving final finish selections and ordering furnishings for common room spaces.

I think both students and faculty will be delighted with their new spaces. The dorm rooms and the common rooms, both the large downstairs one and the mezzanine, are spacious and bright. The faculty apartments all include powder rooms for guests, studies, a private entrance, exterior storage for equipment, mud rooms, decks or patios off the kitchen/living area, kitchens with islands and generous cabinets, and master suites. All the apartments afford privacy with access to the dorm. The landscaping is being thoughtfully approached to help make the new patio area a gathering space for the entire Lamb Common.

March – The excitement at the end of March was watching the student common room come together. The windows and double doors have been installed in the common room. The gas fireplace has also been roughed into place. Rough wiring and plumbing are almost done, and insulation is ongoing.

A milestone was reached in early March when the entirety of the new Clark Road dorm was enclosed. Drywall and painting were underway in the faculty units, doors were being installed, and siding was onsite.

The dorm common room will be an expansive space with cathedral ceilings, lots of windows and natural light, a fireplace, a large screen TV, and full kitchen. There also is a second-floor balcony common room. Both floors have a gear room for sports gear and laundry machines on the first floor. This dorm will truly be a home away from home for our students.


February – Framing of the dorm roof is underway. Contractors will start insulating faculty units C&D (closer to campus) next week. Faculty units A&B will have their rough electrical and plumbing start next week.

Today’s topic is infrastructure. I have included some photos of parts of the system that will provide heating, cooling and sprinklers. These are systems that students and faculty will likely never see – they won’t have access to the mechanical rooms. The HTP propane boilers have arrived and for the amount of heat they put out they are remarkably small. The piping all gathered is for the radiant heat flooring system under the dorm common room, and the ice melt system at the dorm exterior entrance. Radiant heat systems are remarkably  comfortable because they provide even warmth from the ground up. This system also allows us to use all available wall space without baseboards or radiators. Heat pumps and air conditioning will keep residents, including the many summer programs guests, comfortable regardless of the outside temperature. The dorm will be well-insulated –  the prefabricated walls came with one inch of rigid insulation, plus we are using spray foam and cellulose. Attic stairs go to mechanical spaces – keeping all the “works” out of sight.



January 18, 2018 – Brrrrrrr … Many of you also have experienced the extended cold snap of Christmas and New Year’s. The extreme cold did slow construction a bit, though we remain on schedule for our May opening. There have been days when daytime highs barely made it above zero! It was a tough start to the new year for workers from our vendors – Milestone Engineering & Construction, Chestnut and Cape Builders, and Denron Plumbing and Heating – and we appreciate their dedication. Work has been ongoing on window installation, erection of the second story of the dorm, and roofing on faculty units. Trusses on the dorm should be up by mid-January with roofing to follow. Rough plumbing is underway inside. Let’s hope for more seasonal weather!

December 21, 2018 – Lots of progress has been made on the new residence hall project. As we approach the Christmas holiday, the four faculty units are completely enclosed, units A and B are shingled and units C and D will be shingled next week. Rough plumbing is underway in all four faculty apartments. Shower units, attic stairs, and windows have all arrived on site!

The dorm area is being raised as I write this. The first floor has been erected and the second floor decking is going on this week. Next week, the second floor walls will be raised, and after that the roof trusses. This will be a very fast process.

The dorm will have all Pella windows, which have arrived on-site. These also will be installed in the next week in the faculty units, and shortly thereafter in the dorm, after the walls have been erected.

Milestone’s Rich Frizzell hopes to have all enclosed by the first of the year with heating under way to make it more comfortable for working inside. Temperatures have fallen to typical winter levels, with days at 20 degrees and nights in the single digits. Heat is a good thing.

This week’s photos include one of the roughed-in dorm rooms, first floor dorm bath, and the opening that will be the picture windows of the new dorm lounge.



November 21 – Construction is proceeding apace on the new dorm. Faculty Houses C and D have roof sheathing while roof trusses and sheathing is underway on Houses A and B. This photo will show the dorm location between the faculty houses, which is built on a slab. The slab is poured over a radiant heat floor that will heat the common room. Radiant heat also means that furnishings can go right to the walls as there will be no baseboard or radiators. Radiant heat also will be provided in walkways and entry areas of the dorm to limit the need for snow removal and provide a drier surface inside.

As we are using panelized construction we also now have the walls for the two stories of the dorm on site, as well as the roof trusses. These will go up quickly, as planned. We hope to have all enclosed by Christmas, if the weather cooperates.



SADCO Site Development is working on fall cleanup on the site, in preparation for the winter weather and anticipating the spring land-forming work around the dorm.

November 2017 –
The second floors of the faculty apartments have been erected. Up next, literally, will be placement of roof trusses, the next step in enclosing the project for the colder weather ahead.

Also next, the footings and slab for the dorm section will be poured.

Today I stood on the first floor of Unit C and looked out through the opening for the living room picture window toward the Zarkin Tennis Complex and the hills of the Belknap Range. It’s exciting to think next summer some fortunate faculty family will have this beautiful view as they join what we are now calling the South Campus neighborhood.

October 2017 – The dorm project has moved into a new phase with the above ground structures being erected for the four faculty apartments that will anchor each end of the dorm.

The exterior walls, factory built by Lavalley Building Supply, are precisely constructed and include insulation and sheathing. A crew of local carpenters is building the decks and erecting the walls. This method of construction is faster than traditional stick built buildings, but requires more planning up front. Already the second floor has begun to go up on two of the units, a feat that would not have been possible on this timeline with traditional construction techniques.

September 20, 2017 – Concrete footings and foundations are well under way at the building that will be 3 Clark Road. The work continues with the framing of apartment A and B underway. Framing will be done using panelized construction. Panelization is the same as “stick built” only it is done in a manufacturing facility to strict standards, so all the pieces of the project fit together. Panelization uses modern technology to be more efficient, have less waste, lowers labor costs, and saves a great amount of time.

This photo (shows the footings for apartments C and D. In the background are the tennis courts and the end of Lamb Court where Lamb, Harris, and Vaughan dorms are located. Having four faculty apartments will strengthen our student/staff ratio, and make this the first dorm built to provide seven-day dorm supervision with staff who live in the building.

August 15, 2017 – Brewster Academy has started construction on a new residence hall that will house 22 students and four faculty residences. The new residence hall was designed to create the feel of a home away from home for students. It is being built on the southern end of campus, along Clark Road and is scheduled to open in May 2018.

Leslie and Jimmy John Liautaud and their three children: Spencer ’13, Lucy ’17, and Fred ’18, partnered with Brewster to jump-start this project. “Brewster has provided our three children with a wonderful education and amazing environment to grow personally and to build life-long friendships. Leslie and I felt this project was a way for us to show our thanks, support, and commitment to Brewster’s long-standing tradition of excellence,” said Jimmy John Liautaud. The Liautaud family’s generosity and belief in the project ignited the fundraising efforts. Within a year and a half, the project was fully funded through gifts and commitments from generous parents, alumni parents, and alumni.

Brewster’s commitment to social and emotional learning is not only evident in the classroom, but also in the dormitory curriculum. The new residence hall facility will support the expansion of residential life programming to address topics such as social decision making, service, coursework, technology use, personal boundaries, intimacy, substance use prevention, and will evolve with the needs of the students.

The new residence hall will increase the quality of common spaces and will build a student-to-teacher ratio not found anywhere else. With the development of this facility, Brewster’s residential model will more closely resemble its vanguard team-based academic model that sets it apart from any other boarding school.

The Academy is extremely grateful to the Liautaud family and to every one of its supporters who believe in Brewster’s vision for residential life and who have made this project a reality. Head of School Dr. Craig Gemmell called the new residence hall, “a physical embodiment of the way we believe residential life should be.”

The Brewster community looks forward to celebrating with all donors at a grand opening ceremony in May.


August 4, 2017 – The first full week of construction on the new dorm in Lamb Court was exciting! As you can see from the photos, we broke ground and Dave Fuller and his team from SADCO  diligently prepared for foundations. Superintendent Rich Frizzell from Milestone stands at the existing stone pillars that mark the old driveway to a house that was moved and the new driveway to the faculty residences. Rich has been working to expedite the relocation of some power and sewer lines to outside the project footings.

Next week preparations for the pouring of foundations will continue. It’s going to be exciting to watch the next phase as concrete is poured, set, and the structure begins to rise.


Showing 2 comments
  • Robert G. Simoneau

    Looks awesome!

  • Amanda Given

    Very exciting to watch this evolve. .2021 parent

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