Andover Inn Begins Construction Phase, Still On Track for 2010 Opening

The renovations at the Andover Inn have now transitioned from the demolition phase to the construction phase, with the Inn still on-schedule to open at the end of 2010. The construction workers have begun preparing to rebuild after spending much of the fall breaking down walls, extracting asbestos and removing old infrastructure. During demolition, construction workers discovered unexpected obstacles. In some areas, construction workers found steel columns that were not accounted for in the initial renovation design. Williams said that workers now plan to remove the columns. The demolition also revealed that the existing concrete floor was not as thick as expected in some areas, requiring further refurbishing to support the carpeting. Williams said that the obstacles did not put the construction off schedule and that the inn will still reopen at the end of 2010. The construction crew has started construction on the exterior of the building that should replicate the initial exterior. “If we renovate it right, you won’t notice the difference,” said Williams. Renovations began in late July to expand the number of guest rooms and bathrooms, update water and heating systems, and install modern amenities such as color televisions and wireless internet. Michael Williams, Director of Facilities, said, “The building was just worn out. Pipes and heating systems needed work.” Williams said guests’ dissatisfaction with the inn, especially its amenities, prompted the renovations. He said that the construction aims to modernize the Inn’s facilities. Stephen Carter, Chief Financial Officer, said, “We’re hoping that that the Inn will contribute to an overall good feeling that the alums and parents on campus would have about the school. They would have an opportunity to stay on campus and see the school and be able to experience the campus vicariously.” The main change to the exterior of the Inn will be the replacement of the windows. The current windows will be replaced with energy-efficient windows that have tempered glass to reduce excessive heating, said Williams. Inside the Inn, the basement has been leveled, and many facilities, including the barbershop, have been completely demolished. According to Williams, the floor is lined with trenches under the floorboards that will contain the plumbing system. The renovated basement will contain rooms for mechanical machinery and storage, as well as the kitchen and laundry facilities. The construction team has also begun to construct the walls of the new rooms in the basement. The most significant interior change will be the construction of two additional meeting rooms, a number of offices for the Andover Inn’s management and staff, and a fitness center for guests, according to Williams. The preexisting walls from guest rooms on the second and third floors have been demolished, and chalk lines mark where the 31 guest rooms, each with its own private bathroom, will be built. Despite the hollowed out second and third floors, Williams said that visitors will still recognize the Inn when it is completed. He said, “Any time you work with an existing structure, it is important to stay true to what people expect from the building. I think the Inn will have a more contemporary feel since much of the Andover Inn will be new, but we hope that you still get a sense of what it was.” Williams said that renovations will not affect the dormer windows on the third floor or the historic woodwork on the first floor. Williams said that the construction crew spent the majority of the late summer and fall removing the walls and asbestos. He said that the asbestos took a long time to remove since it needed to be disposed of with proper protocol so that it would not a pose a health risk to the community. “OPP monitors and checks the locations where we have identified asbestos so we knew the issue would arise and accounted for it in our schedule,” said Williams.