Arts & Innovation Center: Building for the Future

Amy Dempster

If you’ve been on Carroll’s Lincoln campus recently, you may have noticed construction crews working at the Gatehouse. Big things are happening inside. We’re thrilled to announce the transformation of the Gatehouse into an arts and innovation center.

The idea for an arts and innovation center has been formulating for quite some time. Carroll’s mission has always included giving our students opportunities to think outside the box, to enhance the unique way the dyslexic brain looks at the world. Over the years, this focus on the Dyslexic Advantage has built an enriched studio arts program, maker spaces on all 3 campuses, cutting edge tools such as laser cutters and 3d printers, and a project-based curriculum approach.

Wayland campus opening makes way for arts & innovation center

The opening of The Fish Center in Wayland in 2017 created an opportunity to expand our arts, technology, and project-based curriculum. When the Upper School moved to its new home, the focus shifted to how to better utilize the Gatehouse building in Lincoln. The idea of an an arts and innovation center was a no brainer.

Danielle Pedreira, Director of Facilities & Capital Projects, explains, “Conversations started with DSK (our architects), trustees, administration, curriculum directors, and arts & technology faculty about how the space and curriculum could evolve and what sort of space would we need?”

Planned Spaces

Armed with a clear vision and the challenge to transform a 1905 “modern” stable into a 21st century innovation center, the architect carefully laid out plans for the project.

“The main goal was making sure the space is flexible and future proof so that its potential uses can change as the school changes,” explained Pedreira.

  • Art Studio: The new space provides more room and options for our Studio Arts program led by Diane Francis. It’ll retain the original pottery wheels and provide more physical room for students to do ceramics, glass, painting, clay, and other visual arts.
  • Fab Labs: Led by Colin Meltzer and Josh Mulready, the “Fab Lab” program is a student favorite but outgrowing its space in Storrow House. The new space allows for more equipment (laser cutters, 3d printers, miter saws, a vacuum former, and more ), storage of projects, and more student workspaces.
  • Digital Studios: This area includes a green screen, recording booth, and director’s booth for video and audio recording projects.
  • Maker Labs: These flexible classrooms provide opportunities for large, collaborative or multiple, small group projects. Some tables will be flip top and easily mobile to move around as needed. A partition and the Carriage doors can be easily opened and moved aside to expand the space for large scale projects.
  • Reception and Meeting Rooms: Allows for administration and staff to utilize space for meetings and events.
  • Sprinklers & Heating: The building is getting all new fire sprinklers and a new efficient heating system.

Opening Fall 2019

The Gatehouse Transformation project is on schedule and slated to open prior to the opening of our academic school year.

When asked what she is most looking forward to from this project, Pedreira said, “From a purely practical perspective, I’m looking forward to bringing the Gatehouse up to a more efficient, better designed space for the school to use. The fact that it’ll have cutting edge tools and machines blended with our traditional arts programming that has worked so beautifully for our kids, it’s going to open up so much opportunity for the students to explore and think about learning differently.”

Thank you

The arts and innovation center would not be possible without the generous support of Carroll’s Board of Trustees and the many individuals and families who continue to partner with us through our campaign, If Not for Carroll. Please contact Naomi Hitchcock or Sandy Potter to learn about how you can contribute to this project.

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Floors are being swept, windows are being shined, various machines and making tools are finding their homes, art posters are being hung ... the final touches are meticulously being made to welcome students to our new Arts & Innovation Center next week. Get a sneak peek inside!