With on-site programs on hold due to COVID-19, Watershed has taken advantage of a quiet campus to begin construction of a new state-of-the-art studio. The design for the 7,500 sq ft building includes:
- Single-level floor plan designed for ceramic work with easy access to raw materials and kilns
- Glaze room, plaster room, and spray booth
- 4800 square feet of open-concept studio space
- Full accessibility and ADA compliance
- Energy efficient temperature regulation in all seasons
- Comprehensive air filtration and ventilation systems
Over the summer of 2020, Watershed’s leadership worked feverishly with architect Jane Gleason of Greywork LLC to complete construction drawings for the studio building, hired JF Scott Construction of Winthrop, ME as our General Contractor, and secured necessary state and local permits. And then the real work began:
Storage containers were brought on site to care for the Factory’s contents during the construction process.
Watershed’s Founders George Mason (l), Lynn Duryea (c), and Chris Gustin (r) reminisced about the organization’s beginnings and paid their respects to the Factory.
The Studio Annex was completed in late summer 2020. Some contents from the Factory have been relocated to this fully accessibly and climate controlled building, which provides much-needed space for maintenance work and adjunct programming in all seasons.
The pace picked up in September as detailed electrical, plumbing, and mechanical plans were completed. Site work began to reveal the footprint of the new studio.
The week of October 5 was bittersweet as we bade farewell to the Factory and began work on the Windgate Studio’s foundation. A protective structure for the historic Beehive Kiln ensures its safety throughout the construction process.
While digging the new foundation, we struck clay! This beautiful vein of glacial marine clay runs along the footprint of the original studio and expanded into the land behind the barn.
Blessed with a relatively warm fall, work on the studio continued steadily throughout the month. The foundation and exterior walls were completed, steel beams were erected, plumbing and drains were installed and insulated, and a beautiful maze of radiant heat coils were set in place.
Although we had some early winter snow, work continued at a fast pace toward the goal of a fully enclosed structure before the New Year. The cement floor was poured and smoothed – all in one day!
Roof trusses moved into place, followed by windows and initial layers of roofing materials.
The new year shifted the focus of construction to the studio interior and to the breezeway connecting the studio to the kiln shed.
As the wall framing went up inside, we all began to get a better sense of the rooms and what 4800 sq. ft. of open studio space feels like.
The final roofing and exterior siding will be completed by the end of January as the electrical and plumbing details take shape inside.
Stay tuned for more updates in the weeks and months ahead…and look forward to completion in May 2021!