This story first appeared in the Winter edition of the Harker Quarterly.
Glance around the Saratoga campus and you will notice significant upgrades — a 3,803-square-foot library, a 40-car parking lot with two adjoining sport courts, and a 1,600-square-foot deck off Shah Hall. But the renovations don’t stop there, according to Mike Bassoni, Harker’s facility manager.
Beginning last year and continuing through the summer, all three campuses have received cosmetic and technological upgrades.
At the middle school campus, new modular air conditioning units were installed in all academic classrooms, and landscape planters now line the asphalt outside of building P. The dark red trim of all Blackford buildings has been painted dark forest green, “to give the campus a fresher, more modern look and tie the campus into the school colors,” Bassoni said.
The lower school campus now has synthetic turf in the kindergarten playground and a new, more efficient filtration system for the pool. To accommodate the expanding instrumental music program, Harker has installed a 960-square-foot modular building.
In addition to the new library, outfitted with eBeam technology, expanded study tables and enhanced wireless connectivity, there are several other expansions and upgrades at the upper school campus. More photovoltaic cells were installed on the roof of Nichols Hall, pushing the total output of the system to 20 kilowatts. Inside Nichols Hall, there is an extensive indoor plant collection to “enhance the quiet environment of the Nichols Hall atrium,” explained Bassoni. On the other side of campus, a new 2,000-square-foot sun deck extends out of the Shah Hall patio, offering more seating and outdoor lounging areas for students.
The addition of new parking spaces near the main office allows for more spaces for students, faculty and visitors. For studying between classes, students now have access to indoor charging stations around campus to provide additional electric circuits. “One of these sites has lockers so that laptops can be left unattended while charging,” Bassoni said, referring to the charging stations in Main Hall.
All in all, Harker aims to maintain state-of-the-art facilities to enhance the learning environment and address the community’s needs.