Tabor Academy Has New "Green" Science Building

Edited by Paul Fournier | September 28, 2010

Working under an aggressive schedule, Suffolk Construction built a new "green" $6.8-million science building in just six months for Tabor Academy, an independent coeducational college preparatory school located in the town of Marion, Mass.

In partnership with Saltonstall Architects, the contractor constructed the new LEED-rated (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Center for the Sciences and Mathematics to replace an outdated, 35-year-old science building. The new science center meets LEED ratings in its design, materials and operation. Among its features are rooftop panels for heating hot water and generating electricity, units that recover energy from exhaust air, and high-efficiency heating equipment. In addition, photovoltaic panels on the roof supply power for lighting and exit signs.

Other energy conserving features are solar panels that help provide hot water for restrooms, and toilets having "smart" flushing valves with two levels of water use.

Another LEED plus: recycled materials were used in the building's construction. For example, the aggregate for the facility's epoxy terrazzo floors come from mostly recycled materials, and new materials made from pre- and post-consumers were used in the structure and finishes.

The modern new building houses eight large science classrooms with lecture and lab space, a seminar room, lounge, and math classrooms.

Founded in 1876, Tabor Academy enrolls about 500 students in grades 9 through 12. About 75 percent of the students reside in dormitories at its campus, which borders Sippican Harbor on Buzzard Bay. Its curriculum includes a wide range of courses, among them the humanities, math and sciences, such languages as Greek and Chinese, archeology, and even marine science and nautical courses at the waterfront Marine Science building.

In line with its courses in sailing and navigation, the school owns a 92-foot schooner, a certified sailing vessel. Tabor students have sailed thousands of miles on the vessel to such places as the Caribbean, and have won a number of national school sailing championships. The school's athletic program also fields 55 different teams in 23 interscholastic sports and another 15 instructional programs.

Tabor Academy's new science center is the third project built for the school by Suffolk Construction Company Inc., a Boston-based contractor with offices in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and West Coast. With a staff of more than 450, Suffolk performs general contracting, construction management and design-build, and is the second-largest construction company in Greater Boston.

Suffolk recently celebrated the official opening of Tabor Academy's new Center for the Sciences and Mathematics building at a ceremony that included Tabor Headmaster Jay Stroud, trustees, faculty, alumni, parents, and students.