Construction on Campus
When some 2,000 students return
to Smith soon, and as 775 new students move in to begin their
college careers, they will all see a campus with some notable
changes as several summer construction projects wind toward
In the Cutter-Ziskind residence,
the kitchen has been transformed into a kosher/halal kitchen
to accommodate students who adhere to kosher diets. The renovations
include the construction of separate meat and dairy kitchens,
a new dining room floor, new serving stations, and equipment
for hand washing, and preparing meat and dairy products.
The new kosher kitchen was partly
a result of a campus-wide dining review that aimed to provide
students with more diverse options. Open for lunch and dinner
Monday through Friday and one meal on Sunday, the kitchen
will serve kosher meals along with traditional fare. The dining
room will be pork-free and meals with red meat will be supplemented
by halal meat that meets the highest standards of Muslim dietary
Meanwhile across campus, the
new Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education (CECE)
building is due for completion this month. The new childhood
education center, a 10,500-square-foot construction on the
grounds of the Lyman Estate at Fort Hill, will replace the
former school located in the Fort Hill mansion as well as
in three apartment units on the property.
The CECE serves more than 100
children each weekday, mostly from within the Smith community.
Also, Smith students in education and child study often teach
at the center.
Accompanying the new building
at Fort Hill will be three new playground spaces designed
in a naturalized style by Smith faculty, staff and students.
Due for completion this fall, the playgrounds will possibly
incorporate a theme of the progression of caterpillars to
butterflies, a combination of references to the site’s
history as the one-time home of Northampton’s silk mogul,
the school’s curriculum, and the popular story books
of local children’s author Eric Carle.
Many students will be affected
by changes to McConnell Hall, which received some overdue
updates during the summer to its airflow systems, as well
as renovations of its basement and first-floor classrooms
and labs, and the machine shop and lecture hall. McConnell,
which was built in 1967 as part of the original Clark Science
Center, houses the center’s busiest classrooms, as well
as the computer science, physics and astronomy departments.
Also, the technical machine shop resides in the McConnell
The McConnell renovations, due
for completion by the end of this month, will result in a
building with state-of-the-art classrooms with audio-visual
upgrades, including Internet projection capabilities, user-friendly
lighting systems and versatile teaching spaces. The new, improved
McConnell Auditorium will feature seats for 95 people with
moveable furniture that can be adapted for different presentations.
Other summer projects include:
in the basement of Wesley House, including the addition
of a queer resource center, and a half-bathroom, kitchenette
and lounge area with Internet access, as well as new
carpet, painted walls and acoustical ceilings. Also,
an accessible lift and a front entrance on Chapin Drive
have been added to Wesley.
•New slate shingle roofs and copper gutters at
Morris and Lawrence houses that should last for 50 years.
Morris and Lawrence also received repairs to their chimneys.
•Renovation of the Tyler House kitchen.
Down the road will be a new building for Ada Comstock Scholars,
located behind Talbot House, which will feature a sustainable
design with triple-paned windows and thick, heavily insulated
walls, enhancing the building’s energy efficiency. Construction
of the building—which will include 10 units of at least
two bedrooms each—will begin in October.
The Neilson Library will receive upgrades and replacements
of its heating and cooling systems during the next two years.
Next year, work will begin on
a transition in the Physical Plant to a co-generation power
plant, in which several 60-year-old steam boilers will be
replaced by a single turbine engine that will drive an electric
generator. The generator will produce power for the college’s
operation and steam for heating. The co-generation plant will
significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save $650,000
a year in electricity costs.
Also next year, Paradise Pond
will be dredged, a project undertaken every eight years to
avoid too much sediment from building up on the pond floor.