As students discussed the relationship between humans and nature in Literature and the Land this morning, several white pine trees were felled outside the building as we officially began our Wallace Center renovation project. Inside the building a crew is already building a temporary wall to separate the construction site from our dining hall. Within six weeks that wall will become a new exterior wall as the barn is separated from the current building.
Over the next nine months we will see the iconic barn moved forty-four feet east to make room for construction of a new energy efficient kitchen, which is phase I of the project. The design includes special facilities for products of our farm, including a separate kitchen for cleaning produce, cold storage for winter crops, and equipment for processing food, such as a pasteurizer for our fresh milk. Also part of this phase is a new entrance foyer that will better buffer the dining hall from winter temperatures, while better accommodating the many coats and bags of students and faculty.
When the project is complete the entire building will take better advantage of natural light and passive solar heat from both sun tubes on the north side and improved windows on the south side. Throughout the building will be technological and mechanical improvements to conserve electricity, water, and heat. On the roof will be a first-of-its-kind, designed and built it Maine, integrated solar thermal and photovoltaic system to provide both hot water and electricity. The building will still be heated by the wood furnace in place since it’s construction in 1982.
The project addresses real needs for a new kitchen and dish room, but at the same time demonstrates Chewonki’s commitment to reducing our carbon footprint as we grapple with the specter of human-induced climate change. Please visit our flickr photo site for photo updates in the coming months and you can read more about our commitment to sustainability in the upcoming fall issue of the Chronicle.
Head of School
Felling White Pine next to Wallace Center
Relocating Lilac Bushes