Field house construction to continue through fall
Founders and Green Hall and continued construction on the Field House over the summer. The Schneider Center, which opened on June 11, is now home to several offices including Student Financial Services, the Registrar and the Class Deans. The renovations come as a part of Campus Renewal, a multi-year renovation and construction project that began in early 2014.
According to The Dirt, a blog that details the progress of Wellesley 2025 projects on campus, work began in the south part of Green Hall and the north part of Founders Hall on June 11. However, in order for construction workers to begin renovating these buildings, some academic departments such as East Asian Languages and Cultures, Spanish and French were displaced for the summer.
Construction workers modernized the classrooms, offices and common spaces on the buildings’ second, third and fourth floors over the course of eight weeks. Renovations also improved accessibility in these buildings by placing a ramp on the second floor and expanding the corridors. In addition to the construction in Founders and Green Hall, workers established a steel frame for the new fitness mezzanine in the Field House on July 23.
According to Pete Zuraw, the assistant vice president of facilities management and planning, construction went smoothly even though some of the projects were large in scale.
“The college had a tremendously successful summer with construction this year,” Zuraw stated.
Zuraw notes that before the completion of these summer projects, the small classrooms and crowded offices made it difficult for the professors of the East Asian Languages and Culture, French and particularly Spanish departments to interact with their students and fellow faculty members.
“The Spanish faculty, who had previously been in windowless office spaces or offices that were so small there was not room to meet with a student, are certainly in a better position to work with their colleagues and students,” said Zuraw.
According to Zuraw, the College hopes that the changes will have a positive effect on students’ academic experience. Because the refurbished Founders and Green Hall and Schneider Center have larger office spaces, classrooms and updated technology, Wellesley faculty members will be better able to serve the student body, even as construction continues through the school year.
“The Campus Renewal program will bring enhancements to the experience of our students, faculty and staff,” Zuraw stated. “The Schneider renovation is already helping to make those student services richer for our students. We will always provide the classes, services and accommodations necessary to run our programs while under construction.”
However, students find that some of these changes are initially inconvenient to navigate. Among other potential problems, Kate O’Hanlon ’15 expressed that because of the renovations to Founders and Green, finding the entrances is an issue.
“I feel like, as someone who gets lost very easily, it may make things harder to find, especially since some of the entrances seem to be closed,” O’Hanlon said.
Amelia Tam ’18 echoes O’Hanlon’s concern.
“I think at first the campus is going to be very disjointed,” Tam said.
In anticipation of the renovations planned for next summer in the Quint, construction workers installed a utility line to provide a dependable source of hot water and steam to the dorms. According to The Dirt, this project, which was completed on August 21 of this year, is essential as the College moves forward with its plans to renovate the dorms in the Quint.
Minor finishing details in Founders and Green will continue into September, and this phase of renovations will close out by December 2014. Although the next phase of renovations has not been finalized yet, more work on Founders and Green Hall is slated to begin next summer.
Throughout the rest of the school year, major construction in Field House will continue and design teams will keep working on plans for Munger Hall, Pendleton West and the Stone Counseling Center.