The windows in the Higgins Education Wing (HEW), installed 50 years ago when the wing was built, have reached the end of their lives.
We are using this as an opportunity to improve energy efficiency, keeping heat in during winter and reflecting solar gain in summer. This will help make the Museum’s building more environmentally sustainable by reducing energy use and contributing to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Care has been taken to maintain the original mullion configuration and as much of the original detail as possible in the replacement windows.
- Why are the windows being replaced now?
The original single-pane windows, installed when the HEW was constructed in 1968, are in poor condition. Rusted steel frames, cracked glass, and inadequate thermal performance made this window upgrade a priority and part of an overall campus improvement plan outlined in the Museum’s Strategic Plan 2022-2026.
The HEW is historically significant. It was built by The Architects Collaborative (TAC), an internationally renowned firm co-founded by the German architect and Bauhaus founder, Walter Gropius. The HEW is also vital to the Museum’s mission and ability to serve our community with studio art classes and public programming. This upgrade, planned in coordination with Worcester and Massachusetts Historical Commission (WHC/ MHC), will ensure the HEW is a safe, comfortable, and inspiring space for many years to come.
- Will the entire Higgins Education Wing be closed during the renovation?
No. The Higgins Education Wing will remain open throughout the project. The window and skylight replacements will take place over the course of several months in several phases, moving through the building section by section. During this time, parts of the building may be temporarily unavailable to the public due to the nature of the work. Signs will direct visitors, students, and staff safely around construction areas.
- Will classes, programs, and events still be held in the HEW?
Yes. All of our planned classes and programs will still be held in the Higgins Education Wing. Please watch your email and check our website for updates to programing and locations.
- Will I be notified of changes to my classes in the HEW?
Yes. We will communicate directly via email with registered students, staff, and faculty if there are any changes to class status or location.
- How long will it take to complete the project?
The HEW window replacement project is expected to take six months. This timeline is subject to change; please check our website for updates.