After serving the Waltham community as an active and vibrant church for 150 years, the Covenant Congregational Church closed its doors in December, 2010. For 122 of those years, the church and Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School co-existed and shared resources and space as needs emerged. We have been good neighbors for decades, but there is more to the story.
In 1860, Waltham’s Swedenborgian congregation built the church on Piety Corner and, weekdays, made use of the building as a school. To accommodate its growing student population, in 1864, the congregation built Wilkins Hall as the new home for its school. That school grew and changed over the years to become, in 1972, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall, and to this day, Wilkins remains at the heart of our academic life, albeit with no religious affiliation. With the opening of The Commons and the construction of the connecting path “over the hill,” Wilkins Hall and the rest of our beautiful campus are reunited with the former chapel, bringing home the tradition of educating the whole student that started in 1860.
On September 2, 2011, we finalized the purchase of the chapel buildings and property. In the ensuing months, we re-imagined the entire facility, and then renovated and re-purposed each section to give our students and teachers much-needed new space: the former community room became our student commons; old offices were transformed into new classrooms; and the chapel proper was de-sanctified and respectfully refreshed as a splendid assembly hall. On September 7, 2012, we re-opened the space as The CH-CH Commons.