Posted by: Staff | 02.11.2008

The Mysteries of Beaver: The Evolution of Our School

MADDY KIEFER ‘08

When Beaver was built in 1924, it only consisted of the West Wing (what is now the Middle School Wing). A year later, the East Wing (Upper School Wing) was added, and there was an arcade (an open-air passageway) connecting the two. The central wing wasn’t built until 1930, and 24 years later the next addition, Sawtell Gym, was built (and subsequently demolished in 2003). The Science and Language Wing was built in 1969, the New Gym in 1994, the Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC) in 2004 (taking Sawtell’s spot), and the new Athletic Center just last summer (2007).

Because of the frequent additions to the school, the functions of many rooms have changed. For example, the Green Gym used to be used for Middle School basketball games; today it is used for little more than wrestling and dodgeball. The rooms behind Bradley Hall used to house the weight rooms and Athletic Director’s Office before becoming music rooms prior to the construction of the VPAC. The School Store used to be to the left of the foyer, and the area that is now the School Store used to be an extension to the student lounge in the basement. The foyer itself is actually a relatively new addition to the school; Bradley Hall used to stretch all the way back to the main hallway until ’91, and teachers didn’t have to stand during meetings.

INTERESTING SIDENOTE: For all the LOST fans out there, have you ever noticed that the lights in Bradley Hall have a design on them that look curiously similar to the Dharma Initiative logo? Who knows, maybe there’s curious electromagnetic activity at 791 Hammond St… (Courtesy of Mr. Camp)

Lastly, did you ever wonder about the origin of the cubbies in the Upper and Middle School Hallways? It turns out that they used to be lockers, but, with nowhere else to sit, the students would end up sitting on the floor in the hallways. The administration decided to move the lockers to the basement and use the cubbies as a place for students to sit. Apparently it’s more important for you to have a place to rest between classes than to have a convenient place for you to leave your binders. As a result, the current lockers go mostly unused, and piles of bags litter the school in spots like the infamous Graveyard.

Although these additions and transformations are beneficial to the students, they do involve some sacrifices. Many of us are still upset over the loss of our beloved Sawtell Gym, which was replaced by the new Arts Building. Additionally, the tennis courts were destroyed in order to make room for the Athletic Center and parking, much to the dismay of Beaver’s tennis players. The saddest sacrifice, however, is most likely the playground that was demolished and rebuilt as a more “modern” playground. (60% of respondents in a Beaver Reader online poll said they preferred the old playground.) Although these losses are unfortunate, they are necessary to keep our school as well-equipped and advanced as it needs to be.

SOURCES: Mr. Gow, Mr. Camp

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