Love Hall to undergo renovations


An image of our soon to be updated lower school, Love Hall. Construction is already on its way and the renovations are expected to be done by Fall 2024

This year, the Lower School announced plans for new large-scale renovations to Love Hall. As the Lower School building, Love Hall is home to Westminster’s youngest Wildcats, teeming with energy and curiosity. The newly renovated spaces will further develop and cultivate spaces for the Lower School community, addressing curricular needs that encompass innovation, art, and music. 

“We have a very innovative program at Love Hall, but we’re really constrained by the space up there,” said Jim Justice, the dean of academics and curriculum. “And that’s true for teaching, particularly teaching things like design thinking. It also applies to performing arts because we have a really strong Lower School orchestra program. We are currently using the cafeteria for both performances and assemblies. I would honestly say that we are busting at the seams, given the number of programs that we do up there.”

The project will establish 30,000 square feet of new space and 15,000 square feet of renovated space, including two art labs, one instructional music practice hall, a 400-seat auditorium, three design-thinking labs, six collaboration areas, and a new front door to Love Hall. The expansion enhances access to more opportunities for collaborative work and supports the Lower School’s thriving academic, extracurricular, and after-school programs, utilizing the Love Hall building to its maximum capacity. 

“There’s going to be a renovation of the pre-first hallway, and the existing art rooms will be turned into a music teaching space,” said Justice. “The main office will be pulled to this side of the building to greet families. The most exciting things to me are the new 400-seat auditorium where they’ll be able to have all their assemblies, the design-thinking classrooms, and then all of this collaborative space, which you could kind of recognize is similar to some of the new spaces in the Upper and Middle School buildings.”

The evolution of Lower School programs that stimulate student engagement, critical thinking, and a hands-on-learning curriculum is a remarkable aspect of Love Hall that’s reflected in the new campus renovations.

“There’s also going to be a pollinator garden in the empty stretch of land next to the building,” said Justice. “We actually had this really cool project with a fifth-grade science class that worked with graduate students in the landscape design school at the University of Georgia on designing prototypes for pollinator gardens. The project will be incorporated into the new campus plan, too.”

Construction will begin in summer 2023 and enter into its final stages the following summer. The newly renovated Love Hall campus will then reopen for students in the fall of that year, connecting the Lower School to the rest of the Westminster campus.

“The great thing about this project is that it’s really not going to disrupt school next year,” said Justice. “They’ll be having all the construction material brought in through the access road that they’ve already cut up. Things should pretty much run like normal.” 

Another benefit from the renovation is that the access road will serve as a driveway for food delivery and trash pickup even after construction ends, which eliminates the danger of putting big 18-wheeler trucks through the carpool line.

Excited students and faculty await the new changes that the renovation will bring to campus.

“We always have to sit on the floor during lunch because we don’t have enough space in the cafeteria,” said third-grader Troy Egan. “We won’t have to do that anymore.”

“I heard that they’re getting rid of the bamboo forest,” said third-grader Jashen Patel. “It’s a good thing because a lot of invasive species live in it.”

The project introduces yet another phase for Westminster, demonstrating the school’s constant growth and endeavor to enhance the student experience.

“It’s a much-needed project, and I think it’s so interesting to witness the evolution of this particular part of the school’s campus,” said Justice. “In the original building of the school, the site had a girls’ dorm and a boys’ dorm. From there on it became the Love Hall as we know it today, and now it’s going to grow and transform once again.”

Edited by Sophia Cunningham