If anyone knows Proctor is a perpetual work in progress, it is Proctor’s Maintenance Department who has spent their summer months managing construction projects, caring for our 2,500 acres of land, and chipping away at a never-ending work order list from Proctor’s 45 buildings. As we prepare for the school year ahead (new faculty begin meetings Monday morning), we must remember our physical plant is not the only piece of this community that requires constant maintenance.
Students depart for Spring Break today as we close out the Winter Term on campus. The past three months have seen remarkable work done in the classrooms, in art studios, on stage, in the dorms, and on the court/ice/hills by students and faculty. The winter has also been a time of transformation for the Farrell Field House as renovations continue within The Campaign for Proctor.
As any athlete or coach will tell you, there is no force more powerful in sport than momentum. It is not explainable by physics (people have tried), but when the roar of the crowd grows, a palpable shift in confidence among players, coaches, and spectators takes place. A distinct feeling emerges when you know things are moving in the right direction, and no matter what shot you throw up, you know it is going in. You get chills as you watch it all unfold in front of you. The power of momentum.
Even though students and faculty are away during the summer months, Proctor's campus is far from quiet! In addition to Proctor's Dining Services team and Housekeeping team hosting Gordon Research Conferences all summer, and the Development and Communications teams, Business Office, Technology and Support Staff working hard all summer, Proctor's Maintenance Team jumps into action with campus improvement projects. When combined with significant renovations to the Farrell Field House, the list of summer projects is truly impressive, ranging from major paving projects to significant technology upgrades to irrigation work to refurbishing dormitories and office spaces around campus. Below are just a few of the highlights from the projects on campus!
Rain soaked the campus, and I cross the street in a mid-day downpour and noticed the Circle K wrapper. Soggy, dirt-speckled, floppy litter on the side of Route 11, so I reached to pick it up. What drives this impulse? What makes us care in this manner? To pick up after others, to tend to the place where we live? Over the course of this week I have been in several conversations about community and care, about how to nurture this impulse and how to better instill it. What can we do to better take care the Wise, Slocumb, the Brown Dining Commons, or the Adirondack shelter up at Mud Pond? Or that which is beyond Proctor? How do we awaken this instinct?
Proctor Academy opened the doors to a net-zero ready dining facility, Brown Dining Commons, this fall. The building is the first of its kind in New England and serves three meals a day to Proctor’s 370 students and 150 faculty and staff. Proctor has long demonstrated an institutional commitment to environmental stewardship, installing a biomass heating plant in 2008 and more than 360 kwh of solar panels on campus over the past twelve months. When it was time to design and plan a new dining facility due to insufficient space in the old Cannon Dining Hall, Proctor’s Board of Trustees and Administration set out to build the most environmentally friendly dining facility at an independent school in New England. Just over a year after construction began, that vision has become a reality thanks to the generous contributions of many donors. The building's name honors The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, Texas leadership commitment to the project and longtime friendship to Proctor.