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Employees Move Out for Upgrades to First Campus Building

College Hall Relocations for Summer 2006

During the next two weeks, some 80 Smith employees in 14 offices will pack their belongings and head in 10 different directions to relocate their workspaces during a summer-long renovation of the college’s first building.

College Hall will have its original steam heating system replaced with a new hot water system and will be equipped with a central air conditioning system to replace inefficient window units.

“The method of heating College Hall is essentially the same technology used when the building was built 130 years ago,” says Physical Plant’s Charlie Conant, the project manager, “and even temperature cannot be maintained throughout the building as it is.”

Also, the electrical and communications wiring will be upgraded, and a new fire alarm system linked directly to Public Safety will be installed.

While campus telephone extensions and email addresses will remain the same, College Hall employees will set up temporary camp in a variety of spaces (see accompanying chart), such as the president’s house, Hopkins House, Neilson Library, Unity House, and the vacant space that formerly housed Grécourt Bookshop at the corner of Green Street and Belmont Avenue.

The offices will begin moving on Tuesday, May 23, with the controller’s office leading the exodus, and the president’s office completing the building withdrawal on Tuesday, June 6.

College Hall was built in 1875 and was inaugurated on July 14 that year, marking the opening of Smith College during a ceremony that also named Laurenus Clark Seelye as the first president. For the college’s first few years, College Hall accommodated the entire campus with administrative offices, a 500-seat social hall, an art gallery, a reading room, a laboratory and an “apparatus” room, and seven lecture rooms.

The historic building has undergone numerous changes since its inauguration, and only the president’s office and the controller’s office (formerly the treasurer’s) remain in their original locations.

College Hall personnel will return to their offices in mid- to late-August when the renovations are complete. When they do, the class deans office will take up new quarters on the first floor. International studies, now located on the first floor of College Hall, will relocate temporarily to the former Public Safety office next to Neilson Library.

The College Hall renovation is one of several construction projects on campus this summer, including:

  • a partial renovation of Baldwin House, including new bathrooms, heating system, fire alarm, windows and new suite-style rooms
  • new roof installations at Talbot and Albright houses
  • bathroom renovations in Wilson and Gardner houses
  • the completion of upgrades to the HVAC system in Neilson Library
  • completion of Conway House, the new residence for Ada Comstock Scholars

 

-Eric Weld

 

5/22/06
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