Over the past month, the Office of Admission and the Office of Financial Aid moved into office space on the second and third floors of Weston Hall after extensive renovations. The first floor features a reception area for visitors to the College with a large showroom for information sessions.
Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer Frederick Puddester oversaw the renovation with Executive Director of Design and Construction Rita Coppola-Wallace and Project Manager Jason Miner.
Before the renovation, the Office of Admission was located in Bascom House and the Office of Financial Aid in Hopkins Hall. In a past article for The Record, Director of Admission Richard Nesbitt ’74 cited lack of space and technology as limiting features of the office space in Bascom (“Weston construction to start on schedule,” Nov. 5, 2014).
Goals for the project included repurposing Weston and relocating the Office of Admission “in a distinctive and historic building with prominence on Main Street to serve as a welcoming front door for perspective students and their parents,” according to Puddester. The College moved the Admission and Financial Aid offices to the same building for student convenience.
Planning for the renovation began when Admission moved from Mather House to Bascom over 10 years ago. “The Weston Hall project was an outgrowth of the Southwest Sector Plan that looked at that side of the campus and made recommendations for several departments located over there, including moving Admission to Weston,” Puddester said.
Puddester is pleased with the the final result.
“The ground floor is a warm, welcoming space that can accommodate the numerous large groups that visit our campus each year. And the offices upstairs meet the needs of Admission and Financial Aid,” he said.
Despite the overall success, Architectural Resources Cambridge (ARC), the company hired for the project, faced challenges.
“The biggest challenge involved with this project was the unsuitable soil conditions encountered at the new elevator location,” Coppola-Wallace said. “The bearing capacity of the existing soils did not lend itself to support the new elevator shaft without a structural redesign, which required helical piles to be installed directly below the concrete footings.”
According to Puddester, the project cost $12.9 million and was funded by borrowing funds. Although both offices have moved into the new space, the building will be officially complete in the next month.
The College purchased Weston in 1965, and the building underwent another major renovation in 1987 to convert the building into the language center. The current renovation began in December, 2014.