The southernmost townhouse, with Brackett House visible at left.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – It’s half past one p.m. on a mild February afternoon and a workforce of nearly 70 carpenters, electricians, and plumbers are hard at work on Middlebury’s new Ridgeline Residence Complex on the western edge of campus.

Construction on the four-building, 158-bed facility is running right on schedule. Months of favorable weather, careful planning, and Vermont’s skilled labor have propelled the project toward its much-anticipated student occupancy in September 2016.

Tom McGinn, Middlebury’s project manager, said, “The lack of ground frost and the warmer temperatures right through the end of December enabled the contractors to complete much of the earthwork that was originally scheduled for the spring of 2016.”

In addition, “the warmer weather in January and February, combined with the lack of snow, translated into better production from the carpentry, framing, and roofing crews… so we think that completion by September 1 is highly achievable,” he said.

The roofs are in place on the three townhouse-style units along Adirondack View, and roof trusses will soon be going up on the fourth building that will offer suite-style apartments for Middlebury undergraduates. This week, workers in the townhouses are installing sheetrock and sheathing, spray foaming insulation around windows and doors, and insulating ductwork and extending water lines. In the suite-style building called Ridgeline, workers are framing out the interior and setting wall panels in place.

Each townhouse unit has eight bedrooms, three bathrooms, a living room, kitchen, and laundry.

The Brandon, Vt.-based general contractor, Naylor and Breen Builders, Inc., supplies carpenters and supervisors for the multi-million-dollar project, while Vermont subcontractors such as Thomas Mechanical, JR Sprinkler, and Evergreen Roofing also have teams of workers at the site.

In the center townhouse, two carpenters are installing Paradigm-brand double hung windows into the rough openings on the first floor. Upstairs the windows have already been installed – windows that will give generations of Middlebury students an unforgettable view of the Champlain Valley with the Adirondack Mountains in the distance.

Middlebury is developing the project with Kirchhoff Campus Properties (KCP), of Pleasant Valley, N.Y. Kirchhoff has been involved in developing and/or constructing over 13,000 student beds for leading colleges and universities in the Northeast.