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  Hillside School Dormitory, Page 44Hillside School Dormitory

265 Main Street
Northborough, MA 01532

Marlborough, Massachusetts
Total Square Feet: 15,000
Construction Period: Nov 2003 to Apr 2004 

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: The Collaborative Engineers, Inc. - 200 High Street, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02110
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Erland Construction, Inc. - 83 Second Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803

Situated on a 220 acre working farm that is home to the Hillside School in Marlborough, Mass., this dormitory is the first of several to be built to accommodate increasing enrollment at this all boys' middle school.

The master plan for the Hillside School set forth the need for expansion of dormitory space, additional faculty housing and a more defined campus quad over several years. These objectives mirrored a growing trend at independent schools to attract more students and top tier teachers by providing upgraded living amenities.

With a firm budget of $1.7 million to build the school's first new dormitory in over 50 years, a wood frame structure was designed to recall a New England farmhouse, matching many of the campus' historic farmhouse style buildings. Consistent with this style, the exterior shell is a composite and vinyl clapboard, supporting the farmhouse style but offering lower maintenance than conventional wood clapboard. Farmer's porches across the front continue the architectural genre while creating an outdoor space for students to socialize during the mild weather.

The Owner requested a double occupancy, 14-bed residence with small living quarters for the boarders since homework is done in the academic building during mandatory study hours. To compensate for the modest student rooms, larger than average sun drenched common spaces fill the first floor. The main common room is equipped with comfortable sofas, games, telephones and television, with an adjacent pantry for snacks and drinks. The smaller common room is the quiet room for those who wish to read or write.

A warm, interior palette of soft beige and gray creates a soothing effect for the boys who, at ages ranging from 11 to 15, are going through various phases of adolescence and teenage growth. For many, this is their first experience living away from home. Accommodations for the emotional well-being and different learning styles of the boys were a major consideration in every design decision. The new dorm provides a sense of warmth and comfort for the students as their "home away from home". Impact-resistant gypsum wall board for the interior walls allows the "boys to be boys" with a significantly lower incident of accidental damage due to normal wear and tear.

Slightly more than half of the 15,000 square foot building is dedicated to faculty apartments of up to 1,800 square feet. Each duplex apartment has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a full sized kitchen, living/dining room area, a pocket porch and private yard. The apartments have two entrances - one from the outside to maintain privacy for the family during off-duty hours, and one from the inside of the dormitory for easy and quick access to the students while on-duty. Extra sound attenuating insulation buffers sound between faculty and student living areas. The spacious basement provides a generous amount of secured storage for each faculty apartment, plus laundry facilities for students.

The finished building was such a welcome addition when it opened in April 2004, that faculty vied for the opportunity to move into it mid-term. Last-year students jumped at the chance to live in the new space before graduating from Hillside, rotating out of the dorm every three weeks to allow each boy to experience the newest building on campus.

The project was completed on schedule and within budget, with less than 1% change orders. A second, similar dormitory is scheduled for completion by November 2005.

DIV 07:
Composite Siding: James Hardie; Vinyl Siding: Certainteed.
DIV 08: Windows: Andersen.
DIV 09: Impact Resistant Gypsum: United States Gypsum; Paint: Benjamin Moore.
DIV 10: Columns: Chadsworth.

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