This week we’re beginning the removal of the iron fence that lines the campus’ border along High Street in Bath as part of a campus landscaping project. Hyde Facilities Director Shawn Johansen has written in an email on Tuesday to the Hyde community,
“I am sure that over the years there has been much discussion of the front fence project. There have been many ideas on what to do and how to do it. Today will mark a “Hyde on the Move” moment in transforming our curb appeal while opening Hyde’s arms to the community and future students and families. The plan is to remove the fence and taper our sprawling front lawn down to High Street. The front gates turning onto Hyde drive will be salvaged and the old iron will be sand blasted and repainted. This a very exciting moment in the Hyde legacy and the future beautification of our wonderful campus!”
The fence has been a safety concern for school administrators for decades. The rusty iron, sharp pointy tops, and the extreme leaning of many of the sections of fence have threatened the safety of Hyde’s own students as well as vehicle traffic.
The project will involve two phases. The first, which began on Tuesday, August 1, and is projected to take about two weeks, is to remove the fence. Material Handling Services out of Yarmouth, Maine are doing the removal. The second phase involves updated landscaping along the campus border. Hyde is working with Bath lighting engineer Larry Bartlett of Bartlett Design and other area experts to address the campus boundaries with lighting, landscaping, and potential future fencing.
As many of you know, we have a history of commitment to our historical campus. The original Hyde Mansion was built for John Sedgewick Hyde, son of the founder of Bath Iron Works (BIW), in 1913. In 1947, the Mansion became a hospital for polio victims, donated by Hyde’s heirs to the Pine Tree Society. In 1966, Hyde School founder Joseph W. Gauld purchased the estate and named our school after the Hyde family.
Over the last 50 years we have maintained a commitment to upholding the essence of the original estate, including re-building the brickwork in the Sunken Garden, installing a new slate roof and restoring the original chimneys on the Mansion, and keeping the Hyde Mansion in pristine condition.
“It is truly a gift to live and work in both Bath, Maine and on the Hyde School campus,” says Laura Gauld, Head of School. “We hope in the future Hyde will create even stronger ties with the surrounding community.”
In the coming months we will have the sections of fence which frame the entrance and mark the boundaries of the property restored. Johansen has reached out to the Bath Town Office and area historical groups to not only receive approval, but also to seek input. Hyde has a rich history of sharing its campus with the community, and hopes to continue that into the future.