Groundbreaking Occurs for Proctor’s New Woodlands Center

On October 9, Proctor Academy Board of Trustee members, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents joined together for an official groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the new Proctor Woodlands Center. Caption: Scott Allenby. Photo: Lindsey Allenby.

Since the late 1800s, when Proctor Academy’s first woodlands trails were constructed by then Head of School Dr. Morton, Proctor’s appreciation for, and connection to, the natural world have remained central to the school’s mission. 

On Saturday, October 9, Proctor officially broke ground on the construction of a new science and wildlife science building, the Proctor Woodlands Center.

This new building will feature classrooms, wet lab space, and storage for forestry equipment and will ultimately serve as a gateway to Proctor’s 2,500 acres of land for academic classes, afternoon activities, and those simply wanting to learn more about Proctor’s land management efforts. The Proctor Woodlands Center will be constructed of timbers harvested from Proctor’s land.

Jack and Jake Bronnenberg of Bronnenberg Logging and Trucking have been partners in Proctor’s land management efforts for decades. Jack and Jake recently harvested the pine timbers that will be used to construct Proctor’s new Woodlands Center. Caption: Scott Allenby

When former faculty member David Pilla began managing Proctor’s Woodlands in the early 1980s, he insisted on manual harvesting methods and resisted mechanized methods until Eric Johnson ‘88 convinced him of the value of precision harvesting in the early 2000s. Jack and Jake Bronnenberg have been amazing partners over the past two decades of actively managing Proctor’s 2,500 acres. 

On September 29, Jack and Jake brought some old-school machinery to Proctor’s land on Elbow Pond Road to manually harvest the timbers that will be used to construct Proctor’s new Woodlands Center. Jack wanted to honor Dave with this old-school process, and it was a beautiful thing to watch. 

These timbers are now on their way to be processed in Tamworth, New Hampshire before making a return trip to Andover and their final home supporting the Proctor Woodlands Center. Construction will begin on the Woodlands Center this winter.