Construction Phase Begins at Hanlon-Deerfield School Building Project Site (Updated 8/9/22)


Image from 3/4/2022 School Committee Presentation. The design plan for the Hanlon-Deerfield School shows that playing fields and parking will located where existing building structures currently stand. The new building will be farther from the street.

This week, the construction phase has officially begun for the new Hanlon-Deerfield School Building Project on Gay Street, and Monday, August 8, 2022 marks the date for the first “big visual differences,” according to George McMahon, Construction Site Manager for the project. 

Passersby on Gay Street can already see the first signs of construction as Brait Builders, selected by the Westwood School Committee in July as general contractor for the project, prepares to install fencing around areas of the Hanlon School.

The most immediate impact to surrounding residents may be noise from equipment used to install fencing, clear trees, and move earth material. Beginning the week of August 8th, residents will see trucks and trailers at the site and temporary fencing, along with creation of a new fire access trail from Laura Lane. The new fire trail will allow residents continued access to the conservation land behind the building site. John Cummings, Chair of Westwood's Permanent Building Committee, estimates that it could be about two weeks from when the fire trail is in place that the site will be cleared for construction. 

Construction hours will take place on Mondays through Fridays, 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. If work is required beyond those hours, notice will be given to residents, notes Mr. McMahon. Construction on the new building will continue through Spring 2024. After that, the existing Hanlon School building will be demolished, and new parking areas and fields will be installed.

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Mr. McMahon states, “Our goal is to mitigate any impacts or disruptions as much as possible, but also hopefully provide as much notice as possible to you, as some impacts will be unavoidable given the nature of construction.”

Superintendent Emily Parks also issued an email letter to the school community on Friday, August 5, 2022, in which she expressed excitement at the project’s commencement and provided assurances regarding her administration’s efforts to mitigate the impact of the construction while school is in session at Hanlon School.

“However, with a project of this nature, some impact to the Hanlon property is unavoidable,” she wrote. “Most notably, the construction area will include a significant portion of the Hanlon playing fields, including the baseball diamond. This area will be enclosed within the construction fence and will no longer be accessible to the public. Fortunately, the Hanlon School will continue to have access to the playground and the basketball court throughout the construction phase. The impact to the number of parking spaces will be minimal.”

Thanks to John Cummings and the Town of Westwood for sharing this news with Westwood Minute.

Updated 8/9/2022 at 9:12 p.m. Two corrections have been made to acknowledge information that has been contributed by John Cummings, Chair of Westwood's Permanent Building Committee.  Westwood Minute apologizes for erroneously stating that the information came from George McMahon. 

Updated 8/6/2022 at 9:31 p.m. The date for clearing the site for construction, originally stated to be August 15, 2022, has been updated with new information.

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