July 12, 2019

There’s been quite a lot of activity taking place this week around Swartz Hall. You may have noticed that the cloister link is now nearly gone. Demolition began this week with crews using an excavator to remove the structure so work preparing that area for the new addition can begin. Demolition took several days as crews worked carefully to remove the cloister link, which was attached to the original building.

The work was impressive, and I’ve included several pictures below so you can get a sense of how it took place. You can see workers using water and a sprayer to help with dust control as debris was removed and fell to the ground. Crews also attached large sheers to the excavator to help cut through the steel beams holding the cloister link in place.

While it took a short amount of time for the cloister link to be removed, it will take a bit longer for the new addition to go up. But I’m confident that the new state-of-the-art classrooms, flexible pedagogical spaces, enhanced collaborative areas, and new café and common space will be worth the wait. A rendering of what the new space will look like is included below.

Swartz Hall demolition

Swartz Hall demolition

Swartz Hall demolition

Swartz Hall demolition

Swartz Hall demolition

Swartz Hall rendering

I also wanted to show you a glimpse of the building’s front lobby. The center stairs of Swartz Hall and the surrounding woodwork have been covered by plywood to protect them during the renewal.

Swartz Hall construction

While it’s already been a busy summer full of moving, construction, demolition, and the build-out of 60 Oxford Street, I’m very much looking forward to being able to enjoy the several community events planned for the upcoming weeks, and I hope you are, too.

On July 15, Andover-Harvard Theological Library is hosting its annual popsicle celebration honoring Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Divinity School Address. There’s also the wonderful summer picnic put on by the Center for the Study of World Religions on July 17. And on July 24, the HDS Garden Group is offering a morning muffins and meditation gathering in the garden.

Site work. During the week of July 15, with consideration to weather and other circumstances, abatement in the interior of the building is scheduled to commence and installation of the temporary interior fire alarm system will conclude. Meanwhile, interior demolition activities will continue.

—Ralph