College hires architecture firm for Spring Street bookstore

The Faculty Bookstore Committee has hired an architecture firm and reviewed preliminary designs for the new Spring Street college bookstore.

On April 21, the committee released a report detailing the process that produced its final recommendation for a college bookstore to be constructed at the Wilmott lot on the corner of Spring Street and Walden Street.

The Faculty Bookstore Committee is comprised of Karen Shepard, senior lecturer in English, Lee Park, associate dean of the faculty and associate professor in chemistry, Matthew Sheehy, associate vice president for finance, David Pilachowski, director of libraries and Amy Johns, director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives. Since the presentation of this report to the senior administration, the committee has made considerable progress on the project.

Recently the College hired Cambridge 7 Associates (C7A), an architecture firm based in Cambdrige, Mass. The firm is a collaborative one, based on the idea that a diverse collection of designers and architects is far more effective and innovative than a single architect. They have indeed been successful in this pursuit, winning the American Institute of Architecture Firm Award in 1993.

As of yet, C7A has had two meetings with the Faculty Bookstore Committee at the College and has presented preliminary designs revealing the internal layout and initial concepts and ideas.

Fred Puddester, vice president for finance and administration and treasurer, commented that the committee hopes to have the designs done by the middle of next year and the construction completed by the summer of 2017. The bookstore will be built in the location recommended by the committee at the Wilmott lot.

With regards to how disruptive construction would be, Puddester said, “It’s a tight spot, right on the corner. I think we did a pretty good job at not being disruptive with the Log. But it’s different with a new building … There will be inevitable disruption and inconvenience. But we will have to think long term about how we will eventually have a beautiful bookstore right on Spring Street.”

Indeed, the completion of what has so far been a two-year process will hopefully produce a necessary addition to Spring Street.

“It’s going to be fabulous,” Puddester said.

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