Now Official: Ford Hall Under Construction
During the groundbreaking ceremony
for Ford Hall on Oct. 19, one speaker jokingly noted that
the event redefined the tradition that typically marks the
start of construction by virtue of the fact that building
construction has already begun.
Mary Patterson McPherson ’57,
chair of the Smith College Board of Trustees, pointed to
the progress at the construction site for the 140,000-square-foot
facility along Green and Belmont streets, in making that
To accommodate the students,
faculty, staff and trustees who gathered in the light rain
for the hour-long ceremony, tents were erected on Belmont
Street. And to accommodate the fact that construction had
already begun, a dirt-filled box gave officials something
to hoist in their ceremonial spades at the event.
The slate of speakers
at the 5 p.m. event included representatives from Smith
College; Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects, the building’s
designer; and Ford Motor Company Fund, the donor for which
the building is named.
Smith College President
Carol T. Christ kicked off the event, and her remarks were
followed by those of Jane Chace Carroll ’53,
Smith College trustee and chair of the Trustee Buildings
and Grounds Committee; and Natalie Gentile, senior associate
at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects.
Also speaking were Smith
faculty member Katherine J. Queeney, associate professor
of chemistry; Linda E. Jones, director of the Picker Engineering
Program; Andrew Acho, retired worldwide director of environmental
outreach and strategy for Ford Motor Company; Emily Taylor ’08,
president of the Student Government Association (SGA);
When completed in 2009, the building will serve as home
to the Picker Engineering Program and to the departments
of molecular biology, chemistry, biochemistry and computer
A steel support beam signed by those who attended the groundbreaking
ceremony will be integrated into the building.
Queeney said that the experience
of being part of the design process for the $73 million facility
has allowed many faculty members who were not at Smith when
the current Science Center was built to offer input as to
what will work best for them.
Also, Ford Hall will enable the Smith Picker Engineering
Program, which last year graduated its 100th engineer, to
be housed under a single roof.
Taylor noted that since
the pioneering program began, offices and classrooms have
been split between a temporary building – which
she referred to as the “little green box” – and
the College Club Annex.
“One of my best friends, a senior chemical engineering
major, Briana, shared with me that, while she is very fond
of the ‘little green box,’ Smith’s engineering
program is ready to graduate to a bigger and better building,
appropriately equipped for educating Smith women as they
become engineers,” said Taylor. “Smithies are
ready to embrace the newest addition to our campus and look
forward to making the most of this facility upon its completion.”