Update: Northwood on Main and The Balsams


The Balsams, located on the former Lake Placid Club property across Northwood Road from the main campus, with including housing for girls and faculty.

On December 15th, 2015 Dillon Smith broke the internet with his article in The Mirror about Northwood School’s purchase of the long time vacant Pipe and Book building on Main Street, as well as, The Balsams residential house on Norsol Road.  This article was viewed on The Mirror’s website 2,882 times and was viewed an additional 10,000 times once it was shared on The Mirror Facebook page.

This follow-up article is an update about the two properties as far as construction plans and the roles they will play in the school’s day to day activities.

I recently had the chance to sit down with Mr. Broderick and talk to him about the construction happening in The Balsams and Northwood on Main. I learned a little bit about the plans for the buildings and when they should be ready for student use.

The Balsams project is underway. The decision was finally reached that it will be used as a girls’ dorm for the upcoming school year. There is some construction that needs to be done before it can be used as a girls’ dorm. They need to separate the faculty space from the student space. Some minor construction is needed to secure the balconies with mosquito netting. Also, a fire alarm and security alarm need to be added for the students’ safety. The garage is also going to be refurbished so that it can house two new faculty members next year. The road leading to the house also needs to be updated to make the house more accessible. After all that is done, the house needs to be furnished to make it feel more like home.

For all the boys who are questioning if there will be a Balsams-like dorm options for them someday in the future the answer is: maybe. Mr Broderick told me that new boy’s housing will be created in the campus master plan; he’s  just not sure if it will take the form of something similar to the Balsams or arise as something new that is unseen to our campus.


Northwood on Main at the former With Pipe and Book building.

The Pipe and Book building was affectionately renamed “Northwood on Main.”  Passersby can see the new signage in the windows and can anticipate what is to come. The plans for Northwood on Main are under review by a joint review board in North Elba to make sure all construction properly meets and follows codes on the project. Mr. Broderick told me that they are hoping to be out of the review board by late July or early August so they can start construction on the new building.

The purpose of the building will still have the previous purpose of implementing the DREAM curriculum in the several studios that the building is going to have. Students should expect to see things like 3D printers, plasma laser cutters, Fabrication studio,etc. The whole point of the building explained by Mr. Broderick is to put students in a position where they make decisions on how to solve a problem. Another purpose is to involve the community outside of our school, there could be TED talks hosted that are open to the public or class offerings in code or 3D printing. These offerings will help Northwood and the Lake Placid community become more involved. The feedback is positive from the community after the first article was released. It seems the community is excited to get more involved with our school and learn more about us, shedding the view that we are just the school that’s tucked away behind the trees.

After looking over the blueprints with Mr. Broderick, the building is going to be an open concept design with store windows to attract people from the streets inside. It’s also going to be equipped with an atrium that has retractable seating for TED talks or an open mic night. There are also numerous workplaces located throughout the building for students to work from.  Perhaps, high academic achieving students will gain permission to the space during nightly study hall as an alternative to doing homework in one’s room.

These two buildings should be playing a role in our school’s daily life at some point in the 2016-2017 school year if everything goes according to plan. Also, towards the end of the interview Mr. Broderick mentioned there should be more additions like this to the school with the campus master plan underway.


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