By Austin Forrester
When students returned to Pilgrim Road this August, they noticed a few changes: a tent-free courtyard, a self-serve cafeteria, and the removal of nearly all of our pandemic restrictions. While these changes may be the most significant to the majority of the student body, there are two new additions that will be a game-changer for those who participate in two select extracurriculars: robotics and chorale.
The Winsor Wildbots and Wirecats have found a permanent home. Located next door to the Cage in the basement of the LOC, the robotics room now has a soldering iron, TV monitor, 3-D printers, and a practice course to prepare their robot for competitions. The team has already begun to make the space their own with tables, whiteboards, music, and decorations. Club head Eleni Georgountzos ’23 said, “It’s a wonderful opportunity that we get to have a space dedicated to robotics.”
While the new space is exciting, its location is tucked away in the basement is a bit grim and doesn’t offer the same exposure that working in the iLAB or Wildcat Room did for the team last year. However, the room does have a large window into the space, so anyone stopping by the Cage after school can get a look at their current project. The robotics room is also packed with every type of machinery that the team could possibly need—the only downside is that it may be difficult to fit two full teams when everyone needs to be working together.
Similarly, our choral groups also now have their own space. The makeup room and one of the two dressing rooms behind the theater have been combined into a room for Winsor Chorale, Illumina, and Senior Small to rehearse. The space is a smaller version of the Baldwin Recital Hall, featuring wooden floors, risers, music stands, a piano, and even a water fountain. Senior Small Librarian Meredith Tangney ’23 said, “We used to wander around the LOC, finding spaces to practice like the vestibule and various alcoves. Now we have our own, dedicated space and don’t have to waste practice time figuring out where to rehearse!”
The new room will save time for faculty and staff, as the LOC maintenance team had spent valuable time and effort frequently converting the Baldwin Recital Hall between its setup for orchestra and chorale. However, some students are disappointed to see the makeup room and dressing room go. Winsor Theater member Avery Dolins ’23 expressed concern over fitting entire casts into one dressing room. Drama students are also sad to loose the use of a mirrored makeup room… nothing a nearby bathroom couldn’t fix!
One thing is for sure: while the rooms are relatively tucked away in the layout of the school, they will certainly transform the experience of robotics and chorale participants for years to come.