Canterbury School proposes Student Commons building
NEW MILFORD — Canterbury School officials hope to build a 22,000-square-foot Student Commons building, as well as expanding its math and sciences hall.
The Student Commons building is designed to better integrate boarding and commuting students, Head of School Rachel Stone said at a Zoning Commission meeting. It will be located in the center of campus while still preserving the monument there from the 1700s that marks the distance to Manhattan.
Canterbury School is a co-ed boarding high school on Aspetuck Avenue. It opened in 1915 and has about 320 students. Notable alumni include actor Mel Ferrer, President John F. Kennedy and socialite Paris Hilton.
Under the plan, the Commons will have academic areas, as well as open spaces for students and teachers to interact in relaxed settings. Stone said it will allow commuters to have their own “home,” according to meeting minutes.
Some of the features listed on the school’s website for the Commons are a digital analytics lab; an innovation lab and makerspace; a center for spirituality, service and justice; a school store, as well as a student center and cafe.
The proposal would also add 2,800 square feet to Hume Hall, which serves as the school’s science and math building. A large scale renovation was last done to the classrooms and laboratories 10 years ago but the building needs upgrades. It will improve the aesthetics and better fit with the other academic buildings on campus, according to the school’s website.
The plan includes sidewalks, lighting, signs and new crosswalk areas.
Dan Granniss, the project’s landscape architect, has said the sidewalk work coincides with work the town is doing and they are coordinating with the town’s Department of Public Works.
The only concern raised at last week’s zoning meeting was whether the old trees in the right of way would be removed.
Granniss said some will be removed on the service road but in general, the trees would only be taken down if the arborist thinks the tree is dangerous.
“Our rule is to save as many trees as we can unless there’s a safety concern,” he said.
The public hearing remains open until the next zoning meeting as Milone and MacBroom review the changes for the town.