Massachusetts Private School Wraps Up Revamps

By Eric Althoff

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass.—Construction management and planning firm Connolly Brothers has finished up renovation work at Brooks School, a private coeducational institution located 30 miles north of Boston. A major portion of the work entailed upgrading the athletic facilities at the 9-12 school.

Over the course of nearly a year of work, Connolly shepherded the Campus Athletic Center’s McVeigh Court throughout construction of a new varsity-length court. This entailed refinishing the court’s wood flooring, repainting the gymnasium and adding new graphics, as well as relocating the athletic center’s glass entryway.

In addition to its work at the fitness center, Connolly was also tapped to lead construction management for the school’s Wilder Dining Hall and Student Center. Architectural Resources Cambridge (ARC) designed a new vestibule as well as a dining patio for that building. On the exterior, the two firms also collaborated on reimagining the grounds’ landscaping layout.

Other work for the firms at Brooks included renovating a gathering space called the Keating Room, inclusive of increasing the amount of seating and upgrading the room’s AV systems. Connolly’s task list also included collaborating with A.T. Leonard & Associates on exterior structures such as the pool shed and the sugar shack, both of which are utilized for various summer activities.

Because the school is occupied year-round, this required the various firms to be creative so as to minimize the impact on the school, the students, as well as on ingress and egress—and required great attention to safety and the scheduling of building materials delivery. Connolly was chosen for the project due to its rather lengthy experience in pre-construction.

But no matter the preparation, Connolly’s Robert Spence, who acted as the project manager, said the arrival of several materials needed for the renovation was beyond anyone’s control.

“The biggest challenge our team faced was extended lead times for production and delivery of non-standard items, given that many manufacturers are still playing catch-up from the supply chain impacts of COVID,” Spence said in a statement to School Construction News. “Ultimately, we were pleased to implement the specialty and custom-tailored finishes that will enhance the already-idyllic Brooks campus.”

Added Jay Connolly, president of Connolly Brothers: “Brooks School is known for its challenging college preparatory program, an outstanding athletic program, and most of all for its supportive and close-knit community. We value Brooks School’s educational mission and are excited to help advance it with these new environments in which their students may thrive.”

Connolly Brothers was founded in Beverly, Massachusetts, in 1880. For five generations, the company has tackled construction management work throughout the New England area. Among Connolly’s subcontractors for the work at the Brooks jobsite was Rist-Frost-Shumway Engineering, which provided mechanical, electrical and plumbing services.