56 Centre

The renovation of 56 Centre Street has completed the building’s transformation from hotel to a downtown home for Nantucket Community Music Center and the Nantucket Community School. The educational programs at 56 Centre encourage year-round activity in this part of downtown.  We at ReMain invite all members of the community to explore the opportunities provided in this building to get together to make music and learn.

56 Centre provides a home for the Nantucket Community Music Center and a new downtown campus for the Nantucket Community School. The lower level of the building contains a computer lab, a multipurpose classroom and rehearsal space, and a recording studio. In addition to being a place where musicians can record, this basement studio provide opportunities for islanders to learn sound engineering as a career or hobby under the auspices of the Nantucket Community Music Center faculty. The first floor has a parlor for small recitals, presentations, and rehearsals for small ensembles, a child-friendly space where the Community School's parent education programs can be conducted, and offices for both organizations. The second floor houses teaching studios for music school faculty as well as a classroom dedicated to distance learning, through which the Community School plans to establish college credit course offerings by collaborating with off-Island institutions.

The 56 Centre building is LEED Certified Gold for the environemental responsibility of its design.

Containers to facilitate recycling are located throughout the building and on the porch.  Every floor has a water bottle refilling station to help students and teachers reduce their use of “throw-away” plastic bottles and encourage drinking water instead of soda or other sugar-based, single-use drinks.  And, the counter on the refilling stations illustrates for students see how they are contributing less waste with each refill. In addition to designing an energy efficient structure with new insulation in all of the walls, we chose to use a geothermal system to heat and cool the building.  Wells were placed under the lawn. Groundwater, which has a constant temperature of about 55 degrees, is pumped through the condensers to create air of the desired temperature. Rainwater is collected from the roof of our building through the downspouts and fed into a holding tank under the driveway.  This water is then used to flush the toilets and is available for irrigate the landscaping, if needed.  While water scarcity is not an acute problem on Nantucket, heightened awareness of this precious resource is important for everyone in our community.  All of the plants on site are drought-tolerant, native species to minimize the need for watering.  The lawn is planted with violets, wild strawberries, and clover, so its flowers are a food source for birds, bees & bugs – all important to our Island’s biodiversity.  The vegetable garden along Academy Lane provides food for staff working in the building, and illustrates for passers-by how little land is needed to create a productive kitchen garden.

ReMain Nantucket has been working with a design team led by Joe Paul and Doug Mills (BPC Architecture) and Kathleen Hay (Kathleen Hay Designs) since the Zoning Board approved this project during the summer of 2011. With input from the Nantucket Community Music Center and Nantucket Community School faculties and staff, the building's many functions created a need for spaces with many specialized design features, from recording studio equipment, specialty lighting, distance learning AV equipment, and acoustical treatments for sound isolation and to improve the sound qualities of the various spaces.  Acentech, Cannon Design, and Boston Light and Sound all contributed heavily to the project both during the design and the construction phases.  Julie Wood of Hither Creek Gardening designed a living lawn and a kitchen garden to promote the site's biodiversity, as well as beautiful plantings, walkways and hardscaping.  All of the renovations were carefully conducted under the supervision of Scout Construction so as to comply with LEED standard for sustainability, minimizing waste and using readily renewable or recycled products throughout the construction process. 

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