College undertakes several construction projects

Nicholas Goldrosen

Bronfman, pictured above, is undergoing construction, as is Weston Hall, the Williams Inn and Garfield House.
Katie Brule/Photo Editor

Construction continues apace across the College’s campus. Here’s a brief update on some of the projects you may see:

North Science Center

Demolition work on the foundation is slated to begin soon where the old Bronfman Science Center once stood. The North Science Center Building, which will house mathematics and statistics, psychology and geosciences, is slated to open in January 2021. The replacement building, according to the College’s project profile, will be “a similarly-sized building which will house more flexible space, including classrooms, a large auditorium, labs, offices and collaborative spaces.”

Weston Hall

The College is currently undertaking repairs on the exterior patio of Weston Hall, which houses the offices of admission and financial aid. Since the building opened in 2016, the outside patio stones have warped, risen and fallen due to weather and temperature changes, necessitating repairs to the patio and its foundation beneath the stones. The construction activity notice stated that “work is expected to be complete by the end of September 2018.” However, work continues on the steps as of press time.

Williams Inn

Construction on the new Williams Inn continues at the base of Spring Street, next to Susie Hopkins House and the Williamstown municipal parking lot. The structure, which is currently wrapped in a blue exterior, is expected to be completed in late spring or early summer 2019. The 64-room hotel, which will include a restaurant, will be significantly smaller than the current Williams Inn, which has 114 guest rooms. 

Garfield House

The College is rebuilding a new Garfield House to open for the next academic year, 2019-2020, replacing the structure that dated back to 1850. The new dorm will house 40 students in 10 doubles and 20 singles. The extra beds provided by the opening of Horn Hall in September 2016 allowed for the College to take the residence hall offline for the entire 2018-2019 academic year. The College wrote of Horn Hall in its building report, writing that “it gives us critical swing space that will allow us to temporarily shut a dorm every year and a half to two years while it undergoes renovation.”

Currier-Fitch Retaining Wall

The College is rebuilding and replacing the brick retaining wall between Currier and Fitch Halls. While this project is not relatively prominent, it is near student residential spaces and, according to the project construction activity notice, might be noisy. “Demolition of the existing masonry will require the use of loud saws, jackhammers, excavators and a ram-hoe,” the notice said. “This initial task, lasting approximately one week, will be noisy at times.” The project will follow normal College guidelines for work hours, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Particularly noisy work should not begin before 9 a.m., the construction activity notice states. Work on this project began in early October 2018 and will continue through November 2018. The project will go on hiatus during the winter months and will continue in the spring, with an expected completion date of April 30.