New Spaces At HB

by Jennifer Wang

Walking through HB this new school year, you’ve probably noticed all the new construction marked by paint trays, dust, and even the occasional steamroller. Soon all that will pay off. HB will be receiving five new spaces this year including a state-of-the-art IDEA Lab, Student Commons, a Coffee Shop, Turf Field, and IT Hub. In this article, you can find a brief description of these new places, how they will play out in our academic lives, and most importantly, where you can find them.


HB has always been a paradigm in how fusing technology and education can result in brilliant ideas. This year, the space previously know as the Wood Lab will be refurbished with cutting-edge technology that will allow HB students to immerse themselves in topics such as innovation, design, engineering, and art. This new space will be used in classes and serve as the home of HB’s robotics team, The Fighting Unicorns.

The new IDEA LAB will have 3D printers, milling machines which carve objects out of materials, and a ShopBot Router that cuts and shapes things out of wood and metal. It will also have engravers, laser cutters, and a vinyl cutter. Along with all of that, the lab will have an impressive collection of handheld tools and gadgets. It will be used in a variety of classes such as science and art. There will also be open sessions run by teachers during which students can go and make whatever they imagine. With this large arsenal of the most enviable fabrication technologies to date, HB students will be able to bring their ideas into reality.

Student Commons

Tired of sitting in the hallways, at cramped tables or in the much-appreciated, though slightly squeaky, atrium tables? Well, soon you’ll have an area dedicated to studying, homework, and just hanging out with friends. Complete with its own assortment of furniture and even its own Coffee shop, the Geisel Library in the Classic Building will become the perfect place to brush up on notes before a test or discuss a project with a friend.

With over 400 students and about 40 teachers waking up at a range of 5:00 to 7:59 AM, it’s a miracle we’ve survived so long without coffee between every period. Soon, a coffee shop will be right around the corner. Run by students and the Center for Business and Finance, this shop will offer us refreshments and a business experience right in our school. The exact products are still to be decided, and most details will be revealed after the appointment of the Coffee Shop positions, but the excitement and anticipation for this project has been tangible since the first day of school.

Turf Field

After many years of hoping, HB will finally be getting its own turf field. Located on the Wolf Field and made with environmentally friendly materials, the new turf will serve as a home for HB’s sports teams right on campus. It will also be used in gym class, and though the details are still being decided, might even be open to outside-of-school use.

The field spans the entire Wolf Field, and due to its synthetic nature, could be used throughout the year, even during winter. The field is made of environmentally-friendly materials and will be filled with sand as opposed to shaved rubber pellets. The new field will provide HB athletes with an area that is easier, safer, and more fun to play in.

IT Hub

You know that moment when you walk to the printer early in the morning fully expecting to pick up your English essay only to be cruelly surprised with an error message–or better yet, nothing? The technology department has noticed these problems, and after trying to get around to helping everyone at once for the past several years, they have come up with an idea that is, dare I say, genius. 

Within the new IT Hub located in the former middle school library, a new Genius Bar is under construction. This interactive aid area is based off of Apple’s Genius Bars and will be operated by upper school students. While on duty, these students will work one on one to answer computer and software questions that are submitted through the online service Spiceworks. These questions can be about apps and software, network and printing, or even how to turn that troublesome thing on.

HB offers so many opportunities already, and this year these new spaces will offer even more. With a new IDEA Lab, Learning Commons, Turf Field, and IT Hub, we’ll have plenty to do while procrastinating during free periods. As we watch the construction continue and the new spaces take shape, we can safely say that this year HB students will be more equipped than ever to light the way and leave a legacy.

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