By Melissa Spear, Executive Director

ConstructionIt will still be awhile before leaves begin to appear on the trees outside (I am so ready…) but spring is definitely in the air.  At least I am not bone cold, as I have been for most of this brutal winter, and the days have grown significantly longer.  But perhaps the most tangible sign of spring here at Common Ground is the construction fence that has sprung up around our building site, the piles of construction materials that have appeared, and the large yellow machines that have are busily excavating for our new foundation!!!

After almost 3 years of fund-raising, design work, redesign work, planning and extensive site preparation, our amazing new building is underway.  The timeline calls for it to be ready for occupancy in April of 2016.  Here is what we can all expect to see happening over the next few months:

  • Parking has been relocated to the far (north) end of the parking lot where it will remain for the duration of construction. The lot has been configured for approximately 61 cars.  Entrances and exits are as follows:
    • There is one entrance to the parking area at its south end (next to the construction fence). This is both an entrance and an exit.
    • There is an exit only at the north end of the parking area. This exit has been created to accommodate parents who are picking up or dropping off only.  Pick up and drop-off should enter the drive at the south end of the lot, turn immediately right and exit at the north end, picking up or dropping off the student near the pedestrian pathway that runs along the north end of the parking area.

      Construction-Site Map-March-25-2015


  • Pedestrian pathways leading to campus can be accessed from anywhere on the west side of the parking area. There are two pedestrian routes to campus.  One runs along the edge of the parking lot between the construction fence and the garden fence; the other runs behind the garden between the garden fence and West Rock Ridge.  Both paths meet at the new wetland and proceed up the hill from there to the school.
  • Here are some key milestones to look for this summer if you are interested in how construction is proceeding:
    • The first foundation pour should happen this Thursday and Friday. The entire foundation will be completed in stages over the next 4 weeks more or less.
    • The building envelope is being manufactured off-site in New Hampshire of a specially engineered cross-laminated timber. These components will be brought to the site in mid-June and assembled over a period of several weeks.  I will be sure to let everyone know when there is a firm date for this – it will be one of the most spectacular and exciting phases of construction without doubt!

We are also looking into setting up a camera to create a time-lapse record of construction.  Once we have this ready we will provide access to this record on our web site.  Keep an eye out!

In the meantime, feel free to come check out the project.  We are all excited to have begun, and anxious to see it completed so that we can settle in to our new space.  And let me express, again, my heartfelt thanks to all of you who contributed to the capital campaign that has made this project possible.

Happy Spring and I look forward to seeing all you construction voyeurs here soon.