New Hub of Active and Experiential Learning to be Named ‘Wallach’
Cardigan Mountain School began construction of a new academic building with a ceremonial groundbreaking attended by students, parents, faculty, staff, and trustees. The 19,000-square foot building will serve as a new hub for active, creative, and experiential learning, and will be situated along Back Bay Road in Canaan between the Cardigan Chapel and Stoddard Center. In recognition of years of dedicated vision, direction, and support from former parent and Trustee Emerita Diane G. Wallach H’16, P’06, the building will be named “Wallach.”
“The opening of Wallach will further advance Cardigan’s initiative to teach innovative design, applied engineering, and creative arts,” said Head of School Christopher Day P’12,’13. “These are the skills that we see as vital to our boys’ future success. However – more than that – we see an environment where students can move, collaborate, play, and make connections across disciplines as the best way to develop these skills.” Mrs. Wallach remarked, “The building itself is only a tool. The magic will come from what happens within and around it.”
Wallach will house the Charles C. Gates Innovation in Design, Engineering, and the Arts (I.D.E.A.) Shop, the Engineering Possibilities Innovation & Creativity (E.P.I.C.) Center, the Williams Wood Shop, and a new home for the visual and digital arts, sparking collaborations between programs with natural affinities. The building will unite Cardigan’s learning community into one true academic quad, increasing opportunities for teachers to develop and foster in-depth projects and cross-curricular learning opportunities, while shortening passing times between all buildings and departments.
Designed by Architectural Resources Cambridge of Boston to be a flexible facility, Wallach incorporates modern classrooms with sightlines to multi-use areas, which will support intentional academic intersections and enable different types of learning. The addition of new academic space provides benefits and opportunities in other areas of campus to design and enrich our program, resulting in positive outcomes that flow far beyond the facility itself.
Following remarks by Mr. Day, Cardigan Board Chair Jeremy Crigler ’79, and Mrs. Wallach, twelve members of the Cardigan community representing the students, faculty, administration, and trustees each chose a shovel, donned a cowboy-themed construction hard hat, and turned over the first ceremonial shovelful of earth. The cowboy hats were a fitting nod to Mrs. Wallach’s father, notable inventor and entrepreneur Mr. Charles C. Gates GP’06, who believed that all good learning opportunities begin with the courage to “throw your hat across the creek” with the determination to engineer a solution.
Construction by Engelberth Construction of Colchester, Vermont, is scheduled to be completed during summer of 2020. An opening celebration is planned for September 2020, coinciding with Cardigan’s 75th anniversary—a fitting way to celebrate the dawn of a new era!
Watch the video of the ground breaking ceremony: