After fire fighters extinguished the recent fire in the dining hall, the long and difficult process of renovations began in the basement, where the fire originated, and on the South Bubble, where its floor is collapsing.
Director of Facilities Chuck Williams said that, “Smoke damage was the biggest problem. The entire building was repainted and over two-thirds of the electrical wiring was replaced.”
The historic mural in the dining hall lobby was even restored by a team of experts.
The steel structure that supports the South Bubble twisted as a result of the fire that reached 1800˚; a wall now encloses the area to prevent people walking on its unstable floor.
This wall, the year “2010” painted large and green across its surface by the senior class, is all that remains in sight of the South Bubble.
Restoration will not be complete until September of 2010; Head of School Margarita Curtis added, however, “We are seriously considering the possibility of expanding the South Bubble to allow everybody to eat together. We will have all of the data that we need to make the decision by February, including the projected cost.”
Mr. Williams said that, “There were a few days when there were 150 to 175 people working.” Staff worked everyday, excluding Christmas.
Ms. Curtis added, “We owe our gratitude to the staff in Physical Plant, and particularly to Mr. Williams, Mr. Galli and Mr. Grybko for their extraordinary efforts to get the facility ready in time for the students’ return. While we were all away on vacation, many members of the staff spent every day on campus, managing the repair work.”