Campus construction continues on schedule

This academic year will bring transformation and rejuvenation to many spaces at the College. By September 2014, three new or changed structures are slated to emerge: the Stetson-Sawyer complex, Weston Field and the Kellogg House.

The Stetson-Sawyer project will translate the tradition of the library into a modern building. Currently, the site is in the final stages of construction, with the hope of completion in January. With the arrival of spring, the process of shifting the contents of Sawyer library into the new space will begin. It will start with the archives in March and end in late spring or early summer. If all goes according to plan, a finished and operational library will greet the Class of 2018 in September.

“The building is probably going to exceed our expectations,” Annie Angueira, director of planning and construction, said. “It is absolutely phenomenal.” Robert Wright, director of Facilities, has similar expectations, predicting that it “will be much more than a library, but rather a space for all members of the Williams community to gather together.”

Wright has matching ambitions for the renovations of Weston Field. He looks forward to it being a point of gathering for the community and hopes the complex “will enhance our entire experience of sport.” The work toward this goal has already begun with the recent completion of the bidding process and the current evaluation of bids. Construction will commence on the morning immediately after the final football game of this season, which is scheduled to take place on Nov. 9. Unless the impending winter brings unfavorably bitter conditions, the work will continue until the opening of the complex in September of 2014.

The third project in the triad of new spaces is Kellogg. The historic building strives to become the first building in the U.S. to meet the stringent Living Building Challenge (LBC) guidelines. To be certified under these guidelines, the building must meet 20 imperatives falling under seven fields of site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty. It must also prove it meets these goals in actuality after the ribbon is cut. This entails being a self-sustainable structure, with zero net water and energy consumption. The project is still young, with estimates for its cost currently being collected.

In the interim, Kellogg will be moved north of where it is now, to its permanent location. If the project does reach full fruition, it will place the College on the leading edge of environmentally sustainable architecture. Angueira calls the project a “phenomenal endeavor …. [Kellogg House would be] a living lab for both students and staff.”

The Planning and Construction group is not only looking toward the dramatically changed structures of the College, but is also quietly maintaining the already existing face of the College. At the moment, Spencer Art Building is undergoing a complete roof replacement due to design flaws, faulty materials and installation employed in the original structure. A miscellany of additional measures will be taken to reach Angueira’s end goal of “getting the building as tight as possible.”