Julian Brenman ’20
An airier footprint, more varied options for seating, an upgraded kitchen, a brand new “food lab,” plus a cozier and more welcoming facade and foyer are just a few of the many things to which the FCS folks on City Avenue have to look forward when Shallcross Hall reopens its doors in the spring. Construction on the project began in late August, and now that it’s October, we in FOCUS decided to keep you in the loop about this exciting and unraveling project right here on our campus. Joining us on this journey-in-journalism are the men in charge, including Tom McDaniel, Director of Campus Safety, Security and Facilities, Steve Deloris, Project Manager and former Facilities Director, and Chris Rosenbaum, Dining Services Manager.
Just before we got the unique opportunity to walk through the construction site, Mr. Rosenbaum told us this project has been a long time in the making. “The process of thinking about a renovation started about ten or 15 years ago. We have done some minor renovations, such as installing backpack hooks and adding more serving space, but this is the first major renovation in the building’s 36-year history. We had many other ideas about how to enhance Shallcross including adding another level to the building, and demolishing it and building anew altogether. In the end, we feel we have a great plan now. We are always trying to figure out how to get the biggest bang for our buck.”
Mr. Deloris explains that though these renovations are the most visible that Shallcross has seen in its 3-decade history, it’s actually the second phase in a grand plan. “A year and a half ago-ish, new boilers were installed and the antiquated heating system was replaced”, he explained. Mr. McDaniel adds “There was a lot of construction happening on the campus about 15 years ago. Then it stopped, and now, we’re starting it back up again.”
After gaining these insights from our guides, we entered the construction zone through the door that leads to what used to be the staff lounge (in the hallway near the bathrooms). After passing the threshold, we were introduced to a space that, I can assure you, is no longer one where any staff would want to, or even could, lounge. Instead, it’s currently the construction planning area (see picture number one).
We then followed the crew to where the door that used to transport students to the middle school building from Shallcross. We learned that this door (see pictures two and three), which is obviously out of commision now, will eventually be removed. “We will be adding a new corridor with an exterior door about halfway through the cafeteria. So, that’s how middle schoolers will get through”, Mr. Deloris explained.
Later in the tour, we stepped into the very area that once housed the food serving line (see picture four.) We also saw the former pasta/soup bar (see picture five.) The serving line is demolished, the furniture, flooring, and walls are removed, and the ceiling has been torn away.
To finish the tour, we went to the former cafeteria itself (see pictures six, seven, and eight). Removed walls now expose beams, and the ‘80s ceiling tiles and fan that have been taken down to show the unfinished ceiling. While new ceilings, floors, lights, and furniture will be installed in the coming months, it was fasci
nating to see the raw bones of the building.
Though he can’t make any promises, Mr. McDaniel predicts the project will be completed “sometime in the spring.” “We really want to finish this before the end of the year for you guys”, Mr. Deloris shared.
The Focus team extends a huge thank you to all of our guides. Keep checking for future updates before the building reopens.