Boarding Bridge Reveal

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REUNITED The new bridge connecting the Residence Department and the main building opened on Oct. 24.
REUNITED The new bridge connecting the Residence Department and the main building opened on Oct. 24. Photo by Vivian Armitage

As a boarder, living on the island that is Morgan dormitory during the construction of the sky bridge created some navigation issues walking to school. Rather than walking across the bridge and into the admissions hallway, our path took us behind the Health Center and cafeteria before finally arriving in the main building.

Seven months into the remodel, the entire Residence Department anticipated the reveal of our new viaduct. With fall setting in, facing the stroll in the brisk weather outside seemed more daunting than ever. Some felt the pain in the form of the daily irritation of walking outside to school. Others were upset about the rule prohibiting girls from returning to their dorms during the day due to the ongoing construction.

Everyone was counting down the days until our escape from the construction that began just before spring break last year.

Finally, after the long hiatus, the bridge is back and better than ever. It re-opened on Oct. 24.

Gone is the mere walkway that funnels boarders into school. In its place is a modern, sophisticated, three-story conduit between the Residence Department halls and the school, providing us with a visual manifestation of the unity our community needs.

“I’m so happy that the bridge is finally open.  It will make my walk to school more bearable,” freshman Aleena Dewji said.

Along with these incredible new additions for the boarding students, everyone at Hockaday will benefit from the connection between Tarry House and the Health Center. This link will make it easier for day students to access the Health Center in a convenient and helpful manner. These changes will also help boarding to feel more connected to the main building.

The new bridge offers more than just an easier path to school. The new design includes an elevator, musical practice rooms, study rooms, a common space, and suites for dorm moms.

In the new-and-improved bridge, we now have a walkway and new places to study and play instruments. Chairs, in thoughtful groupings, encourage us to sit and talk, while the lack of a lounge area reduces the noise the bridge creates

“I can’t wait to use the rooms to practice my flute,” sophomore Jasmine Jin said.

Even though I don’t play an instrument, I am definitely eager to study in these new, sleek rooms.

Windows from floor-to-ceiling line the bridge; everything is visible now, from the entrance to the Hockaday campus to the soon-to-be grassy courtyard between the dorms. A cluster of mailboxes on each side of the bridge now encourage us to stay connected with friends and family. And finally, the recent addition of an elevator will make moving in and out of the dorms a breeze.

The re-installation of the new bridge will definitely make Hockaday boarding even better. I am so excited to be released from the isolation that was Morgan dormitory and be connected with my community again.

– Vivian Armitage