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New look, same Hill

By Kaitlin McCabe '16

April 11, 2013

An influx of new first years will not be the only noticeable change to Hamilton College in the Fall 2013 semester.  Beginning with the restoration of the Chapel, which officially started this Monday, April 8, the Hill will undergo a long desired makeover that will last throughout the next few semesters.

While talks of renovating the campus have been ongoing for several years, plans were finally finalized and approved at the beginning of this school year.  The various projects will be funded by the annual renewal and replacement budget, which consists of approximately $4.4 million. The Hamilton community, however, does not need to fear returning to a different and unfamiliar campus.  According to Associate Vice President for Facilities and Planning and Assistant Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Programs, Steve Bellona, the upcoming construction effort is mainly focused on the “maintenance and renewal of existing facilities” as opposed to the creation of brand new structures.  These efforts entail a wide range of internal and external alterations, including updated heating and hot water systems and the replacements of windows and other fixtures for residence halls, such as Dunham, Eells, Ferguson and Minor.  The stone exteriors of the Alumni Gym, Rogers Estate, North Residence Hall and the Chapel will also be restored.  Following the upcoming HamTrek in May, the Bristol Pool will be closed for the summer during a lighting upgrade and the painting of interior steel structure, and the infamously bright carpeting on the Burke Library’s first and second floors will replaced in time for the upcoming school year.

These various projects covering the entire campus will continue into the spring of 2014. There will be an addition to Sage Rink, the construction of which will begin in April 2014, and the astro-turf on the Campus Road athletic field will be replaced in time for the commencement of the fall sport season.

Rumors have circulated campus regarding the fates of the Griffin Road Apartments and 3994 Campus Road. There have been discussions involving the expansion of the residence locations on G-Road and the destruction of 3994 Campus Road, Bellona said, but as of now, no finite decisions have been made.

While Hamilton will be under a great deal of work in the upcoming months, the Hill community need not fear that the traditional look of the College will be changed.  Ultimately, the construction and renovation efforts seek to preserve the classic look of the campus, not to transform it.

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