Northwood on Main Introduced to the Community

On Friday, September 16, Northwood School held a dinner and presentation for the Board of Trustee and community members informing them of the current status of Northwood on Main, the former book and tobacco shop Northwood purchased last year for approximately $1 million. According to the pamphlet distributed at the event, Northwood has begun a $2.5 million campaign for the renovation and construction of the space in an effort to position Northwood as one of “the most innovative private boarding schools in the world.”

The school has begun renovation, and shared architect’s renderings with the public. The space will be dedicated to Northwood’s programs in Computer Programming and Robotics, Innovation + Design, and Entrepreneurial Studies.

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Northwood School has hired OMR Architects of Massachusetts to design the space. Javier Ramirez and Bonnie Peters, the lead architects on the project, attended the event. Ramirez said the firm “works with many other schools and is very educational-based.” Ramirez and Peters stated that they met Northwood Head of School Mike Maher whilst working on a project at Salisbury, a boarding school, in Connecticut.

Tom Broderick, Assistant Head of School, stated that the design for the space was “based off other educational buildings including the Brooklyn Robots Foundry and Hawken School in Cleveland, Ohio.”  Broderick also noted that the school wants to keep some of the historical aspects of the iconic main street building, built in 1915, while also introducing modern qualities to the space. “The addition of an elevator to the outside of the building, the elimination of a wall and porch to draw eyes to Mirror Lake, and an atrium will all be a part of the space.” The atrium is an 18 by 26 foot open area, spanning the entire height of the structure. It will allow light to travel to the ground level and be equipped with pull-out bleachers and a balcony that will overlook a robotics workshop and performance space.

Dean of Faculty and Innovation + Design teacher Linda D’Arco said that the the process will be more important than the outcome at Northwood on Main. “[Innovation + Design] is not about success but about the tools students have, having space and tools can support students’ ideas better, and this space can allow that.” The space will have abundant tools. The renovated site will include a maker space and fabrication studio with 3D printers/scanners, vinyl printers, plasma cutters, a variety of carpentry tools, large-format printers, a computer lab, a sound/video production studio, and a projector and sound system. Broderick expects that the building will be open next fall.

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