Hanscom Hall

Community.  Creativity.  Innovation.

This June we will begin transforming the lower level of Hanscom Hall into a bright, social, and inspiring space built for student-driven creativity, collaboration, and innovation.

When completed, it will house a new campus store and student center, a far more expansive IDEAS Center, an outdoor terrace, and renovated bathrooms.

Why the transformation?

We believe that human progress is driven by ideas and innovation. Therefore, successful learning is less about what we know and more about how we seek out and apply knowledge to solve a problem.

The IDEAS Center (Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship, Arts and Sciences) gives our students and faculty the space to implement a design-thinking approach to learning. Filled with moveable white boards, CNC routers, 3D printers and a host of other tools and software, our students and faculty together can identify problems, envision solutions, create prototypes, and then implement a solution.

A new student center and campus store will provide a much needed space for students to socialize, grab their mail, and enjoy a quick bite or drink between classes.

Together, the student center and IDEAS Center create the social and collaborative environment found in makerspaces, the powerful combination of community and tools where design thinking can thrive.

By transforming the lower level of Hanscom Hall – the epicenter of the Gould Academy campus – Gould has made a commitment to teaching our students how to solve problems and make an impact through the design thinking model.

That’s innovation.


When does the renovation begin and end?

Construction is slated to begin the week after Commencement (June 7). The renovation of the lower level will be completed by December 2014. This renovation will also include new lighting and upgrades to heating systems on the second and third floors of Hanscom Hall. Bathrooms and the day student locker room will be completed by the opening of school 2014. Upgrades to flooring and furniture on the second and third floors will take place during the summer of 2015.

Who is the architect and construction manager?

The architect is Scott Simons Architects from Portland, Maine. Peter Warren of Warren Construction Group of Freeport, Maine will head the construction effort.

Does this renovation have LEED certification status?

The building will not be LEED certified, however, all of the choices made in the design of this renovation have been made with sustainability in mind. We will dramatically improve the quality of the building in terms of its energy use. We are using all LED lights in new fixtures, installing sustainable flooring products, upgrading to a more efficient heating system, and using smart sustainable design.

What is happening with the dark room?

Gould will no longer offer black & white film development as part of its arts curriculum. We will continue to offer several classes in digital photography and video as well as a robust program in the visual arts.

What is design thinking?

Design thinking is the process of solving problems or bringing new ideas to life through creativity.  As described in this Fast Company article, the process can be broken down into four steps that would remind you of the scientific method. 1) Define the problem. 2) Create and consider many options. 3) Refine selected options and repeat if necessary. 4) Pick the best option and execute. By following these steps, students and faculty together can create their ideas together.

What kinds of tools and machines will you have in the IDEAS Center?

The IDEAS Center will house CNC routers, 3D printers, 3D scanners, vinyl cutters, sewing machines, large format printers, and  computers loaded with engineering, design and creative software – just to name a few.

What is a makerspace?

As the makerspace website states: “To describe them simply, makerspaces are community centers with tools. Makerspaces combine manufacturing equipment, community, and education for the purposes of enabling community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with the resources available to individuals working alone.” The lower level of Hanscom will allow for both the structured and spontaneous innovation that thrive in makerspaces by combining a student center and our IDEAS Center.

Where will day student lockers go?

As part of the construction, a dedicated locker room for day students is being constructed in the lower level of Ordway Hall. Day students will be assigned new lockers that are nearly triple the size of their current lockers. The lockers will be made of durable recycled HDPE.

Will there be food and drink in the student center?

Yes. We are committed to providing a range of both fresh and packaged snacks for purchase from the bookstore during regular business hours. We also plan to provide students and faculty with a single serve vending machine for coffee, tea, hot chocolate and other edibles.

What is a media or “green” room?

The media room will be a soundproof space for audio and video recordings like podcasts, interviews and other digital creativity. A green wall will provide a backdrop for video and photo shoots.