Seeley House to be deconstructed

The Stetson-Sawyer project committee recently announced a new development in the plans for Seeley House and Kellogg House. Originally, Seeley House was to be demolished, but now, in order to be more sustainable, the College has decided to deconstruct the house, along with parts of Kellogg House. The part of Kellogg that is not being deconstructed will still be moved to a new location just a few yards northwest of its current location near Stetson Hall.
Deconstruction of Seeley House and the later additions of Kellogg will begin “sometime perhaps as early as next week,” Director of Communications Angela Schaeffer said.
According to Diana Prideaux-Brune, associate vice president for Facilities, the Kellogg project is an “exciting opportunity to combine green building practices with historic preservation, with the promise of bringing the Center for Environmental Studies [CES] and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives together in one location.”
In association with Consigli Construction, the same contractor the College has hired for the Stetson Library project, and the Center for Ecological Technology, the College hopes “to have no more than 10 percent of all materials leaving the site as disposable debris,” Prideaux- Brune said.
Schaeffer emphasized that the goal of these building projects is to “set a precedent for sustainable building.”
Stephanie Boyd, director of the Zilkha Center, expanded on the notion of sustainable building. “We want to deconstruct the buildings in such a way that some of the materials in the building can be resold and reused in other structures, rather than being recycled into lower grade materials or disposed of in a landfill or by other means,” she said. “This type of dismantling tends to cost a little more, even after revenue is earned on the salvaged materials. It also is more time consuming. Essentially, you need to take the building apart piece by piece. It can be very labor-intensive compared to traditional demolition approaches. We are on a tight timeline as the library project construction begins soon, so we need to work efficiently.”
“Deconstruction of the buildings has been challenging because we want to make sure that this process does not delay the start of the Stetson Library project,” Prideaux-Brune said. “Dismantling a building does take longer than simple demolition, but we are confident that Consigli will manage this phase of the project without any adverse impact to the larger construction project.”
Bill Reed, an international expert and leader in the field of sustainable building and integrative design, recently came to the College to talk about sustainability, and he met with the building committee for Kellogg House for an entire day to think specifically about its goals for the project. Reed’s public lecture on regeneration was intended to introduce the College community to the principles of sustainable building that will be put into practice in the Kellogg project.
Prideaux-Brune added that reusing materials taken from Kellogg during its deconstruction is an important part of preserving an important piece of the College’s history. Kellogg House has been renovated several times in the past three decades. Originally serving as the president’s house in 1794, it has since endured significant changes in usage and appearance. After functioning as the home of the first four presidents, Kellogg was then moved to a location near its present home by Stetson Hall, and its former location was turned into a lawn. There was a failed attempt to burn down Kellogg in 1872, and a year later the entire building was renovated. The house changed location again in 1919 to make room for the new Stetson Hall; it was moved northward down the hill and turned 90 degrees. Kellogg then served as faculty housing until 1978, when the CES moved in.

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