Greenhill Plans to Begin Construction on a New Science Building

Agnich+Science+Building+when+it+was+first+built+in+1965.

Photo courtesy of "From Humble Beginnings"

Agnich Science Building when it was first built in 1965.

Andrew Mann and Ravi Vasan

After serving as a home for thousands of classes since 1965, the 56-year-old Agnich Science Building’s chapter is coming to an end.

In a virtual employee meeting on Monday, Mar. 21, Head of School, Lee Hark, shared a plan for the construction of a new science building that will replace the current Agnich Science Building. The new building is set to open in the fall of 2023, when the current freshmen are seniors.

“I think that the new science building will be a space that serves as a place for the community to strengthen and grow,” Hark said. “And I hope that it feels like a destination that people want to go to and be when they do not have class.”

Greenhill plans to tear down the Agnich building over the coming summer and break ground on the new building in early 2022. Its construction leads to an unfortunate reality for the juniors and seniors, as they will be unable to use the new science building before they graduate.

Senior Samira Kethu, who is a science major in college, was upset to learn that the new building was going to be completed years after her graduation.

“It’s tough because, as seniors, we are not going to be experiencing the new building,” Kethu said.

While the exact classes that will occur in the new building have not yet been specified, Upper School Science Department Chair, Trevor Kendall, hopes that the new, state-of-the-art facility will house science, math, and computer science for the Upper School.

Along with a new building, Greenhill’s Science Department hopes to reconstruct its approach to the curriculum. Kendall says that the goal is to help everyone find their own science path.

“We wanted to move more towards a more modern form of science education,” Kendall said. “When [the Agnich Building] was built, the way science was taught was different from the way we are doing it now.”

The project manager of the construction of the new building is Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Kendra Grace. She is the point of contact for the architects and the general contractors. She is also in charge of getting the meadow prepped for the 2021-22 school year and ensuring that all of the old building’s technology is transported safely.

“I don’t think that her description of her role gives it the justice it deserves,” Hark said. “Every logistical thing that is involved in creating this space, Ms. Grace is in charge of.”

During the construction, seventh grade, eighth grade and Upper School science students will take courses from trailer classrooms in the meadow next year. The new classrooms, called pods, will be delivered and set up this summer.

Hark said that there will be six pods, each of them containing two classrooms.

“It’s a necessary step to go through that, and I’m confident that teachers and students will make the most of this opportunity,” freshman Shreya Ram said.

Although Kethu is sad that she will not be able to learn in the new science building, she is excited about the opportunities that the building will create for her younger classmates.

“I think that it will benefit Greenhill as a whole and will encourage more Greenhill students to pursue careers in science,” Kethu said.