academics header
 

Chapter 11: Hampshire Space: Landuse and Facilities Planning

* Report of the Facilities Planning Committee (1987)
* Hampshire College Master Plan (1992)
* Building the Perfect Beast (1995)



Report of the Facilities Planning Committee, 1987

Introduction

In May of 1986 President Simmons named a committee to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment study and space use analysis of the Hampshire campus...

The first activity of the committee was to conduct an "inventory of needs". All budget managers (33) were invited to submit both the space and facilities needs of their own school or department and a second list of what they considered the institutional needs of the college. The response to our call for inventories was excellent, and the completed forms provided us with a list of needs and priorities as seen by the people most responsible for the day-to-day needs of the institution....

The committee soon realized that the key to facilities planning was enrollment...As we examined in detail the consequences of the new enrollment projections, it became clear to us that the college faced a shortage of on-campus student space that will become critical in Fall 1989 (sooner if admissions results continue to improve, later if those numbers fall). This shortage of student spaces will be exacerbated by a modest increase in the number of faculty offices needed....(p. 1-2)

The Need for New Facilities

Our initial charge from President Simmons included the statement, "...the time has come for the development of an integrated approach to facilities planning." The FPC began its 'integrated approach' through the submission of Part I of our study, which dealt with the current and near-future needs for basic space, i.e., beds and faculty/staff offices. In Part II of our report, we took a hard look at the condition of the college's facilities and made specific recommendations for staffing and financing the operations of the physical plant department, including a plan (the accelerated improvement plan) for attacking deferred maintenance problems over the next three years. FPC is now in position to undertake the third and final part of our 'integrated approach' study, namely, the need for new facilities. At the present time the college has a finite amount of available square footage. Unless new square footage is created, the best we can do is to exchange spaces based on priorities.

Part I of our study clearly demonstrates the student space needs, assuming a gradual upward enrollment trend. To house the anticipated student body we must take back existing bed spaces currently diverted to other uses. When this is done, those functions and people displaced must be reassigned to other spaces or removed from campus. We have carefully examined and evaluated the student bed space problem and arrived at our first recommendation:

Despite the fact that there once were 1,238 bed spaces according to the architects' plans, we do not recommend recapturing a sizeable number of these spaces. We do not believe it is in the college's best interest to take back the spaces currently assigned to the Day Care Center, Dana House, certain administrative office and staff apartments; nor to redouble 120 of the originally designated double rooms.

Based on the above it will be necessary to construct an additional student dormitory of a size within the range of 80 to 120 student spaces to become available for fall 1989. However, both our inventory and responses, and expressed student input lead us to believe that a student center facility has a higher priority in the eyes of the students and staff. Before detailing our recommendation on this proposal we need to outline other space problems and needs facing the college.

For the past 10 years, since the construction of the music/dance building within the Longsworth Arts Center, the dance program has had to operate from two widely separated studios, the new studio in the music/dance building and the old 'temporary' studio in the third floor, east of the Johnson Library. Pressure to reclaim this latter area for library purposes has been steadily increasing. The recent approval of a $50,000 foundation grant to be used exclusively for library purposes has given added weight to the proposal for conversion of the dance studio space to library use. To solve both problems we have looked favorably at a plan to construct a second dance studio as an addition to the existing studio at the south end of the music/dance building. Our architects have proposed a dance studio/performance space addition which we endorse. The removal of the old dance floor in the library would then release a sizeable area for the addition of needed stacks and study spaces. Further, it would allow the use of a good-sized floor space adjacent to the proposed new stack area as temporary office space to expedite our game of "musical chairs" with college functions.

Another important development, the resurrection of last year's proposal for an addition to the Johnson Library, has recently surfaced. The spinoffs from such an addition would be many. An ad-hoc committee is currently at work revising last year's plan. While we do not have the specifics, we must take the plan into account; such an addition would have an indirect effect upon the student center planning and on other facility needs.

Finally, there are a number of moves and changes that we believe would improve the efficiency of the college's operations, create additional student bed spaces and result in more adequate spaces for all concerned. Also, there are included in our priorities a number of items which do not have an immediate or high priority but items which this committee wishes to call attention to as future needs. The following recommendations represent a consensus of the FPC:

Priority 1: Dance Studio Addition and Library Conversions

Immediately (Summer of 1987) construct an addition to the existing Music/Dance building to house an additional 40' X 60' dance floor. This studio/performance space would be constructed adjacent to the existing studio so as to make use of the existing facilities and be able to seat up to 120 persons for dance performances. We further recommend that the addition also contain space to house a minimum of six faculty offices. The need for additional faculty offices described in Part I is pressing and this proposal appears to be an inexpensive way to create additional offices in a convenient location. We have been assured that this addition can be completed by October 1, 1987 if we are authorized to proceed at once.

At the same time and under the same authorization, we are recommending the immediate removal of the temporary dance studio from the library and the conversion of that space to a library stack area and the construction of a temporary office area in the unused floor spaces adjacent to the former dance studio....

Priority 2: New Dormitory and New Student Center

In general the committee feels it is imperative to move rapidly to develop detailed plans, including site studies and funding projections, for both these new structures. The need for student bed space is the more quantifiable but the need for a student center is just as great and will not only vastly improve the quality of student life but will also allow a better use of many other spaces on campus.

A. Student Dormitory: The numbers have been presented many times in the past twelve months. The important figures are these: the college will, by shifting spaces, making new offices, and converting many of the double rooms in Dakin-Merrill back to doubles, be able to accommodate the expected 1987-88 enrollment of 1,060 year average. By further and more drastic shifts including some that must be seen as temporary, we can accommodate the expected year average 1,115 in 1988-89....

The committee does not believe it is possible to recover the needed bed spaces for the near future needs simply by recapturing diverted bed spaces. Even if we were to recover 30 spaces by moving the remaining offices and faculty apartments from student housing (preserving only the Dana House Center, the Day Care Center and spaces for the residential house staff) we could only accommodate a year average enrollment of 1,121, much below the enrollments projected for 1989-90 and the following years. We recommend that planning begin at once for construction of a new dormitory, housing between 80 and 120 students.

Our student housing is between 18 and 20 years old. The wood-frame units, Enfield and Greenwich, cannot be expected to last for very many more years. Thus, even if the college's size stabilizes in the 1,000 - 1,100 range, a new institutional quality dorm of the size projected will be needed as units in Enfield and Greenwich become unsuitable for student occupancy.

Secondly, so long as additional students are housed in a dormitory, the room rental paid by the students housed therein will go a long way toward meeting the cost of the new facility.

B. Student Center. In the very early planning stages of the college there was consideration on the inclusion of a student center or "pavilion" as it was then designated. This project was later dropped for financial reasons and since that time the need for a student center has often been discussed but never given a high priority. Now, after seventeen years of experience it appears to be at the top of our 'wish list'. During our short lifetime we have tried to overcome the deficiencies through groups of decentralized and inadequate resources such as the 'Airport Lounge', the Tavern, the Bridge Cafe, the Snackbar and Bookstore. The latest 'non-student' center has been to open the dining commons during evening hours for pizza and studying. While these efforts have all had successes, they have in no way made up for the lack of a centralized student meeting and socializing space.

We recognize that such items as the size, location, functions to be included and financing are not at all defined at this time. We believe that a student center should add much needed new space to the campus and release significant current spaces for other use. Our recommendation for both the proposed student dormitory and student center is as follows:

We recommend that planning begin as soon as possible, before summer recess, to address the dormitory question - size, type of living units, location on campus, social spaces and cost; and on the student center proposal, again to include functions, overall size, location and cost....

A Further Recommendation: The Library Addition

President Simmons has recently learned that the college's prospects for obtaining a substantial grant from the Pew Memorial Trusts look very good in the near future. Accordingly, last year's grant proposal has been resurrected and restructured in preparation for resubmission to Pew this summer. A separate committee is preparing the actual submission, but our understanding is that the addition would contain a computer center, a classroom, library reference space, etc. The final list of spaces to be included depends on the size of the proposed addition, particularly the number of floors. In any event, the addition would provide a number of new and well designed spaces to enhance our academic program. At the same time, as this report has stressed from its first page, every additional square foot of building space both adds to our facilities and increases our flexibility to reassign spaces in more efficient and logical combinations.

The FPC endorses the proposal to submit a grant application to the Pew Memorial Foundation requesting a grant towards construction and equipping an addition to the Harold F. Johnson Memorial Library. We recognize that some college financing may be needed to augment the grant since all proposed inclusions may not be grant eligible.

Other Needs

The FPC has by no means confined its space needs examination to only three specific recommendations. We have identified other important space needs but felt each had a lower priority than those described in detail above. We foresee a definite need for performance space which might be met in part through the construction of a student center; a need for administrative office space which might also free up some currently diverted student bed space; also, a need for a better Admissions' Office. Despite the lack of any specific demands at this time we know the building is in poor condition structurally. There is a constant demand for additional storage spaces for a variety of items from old records to the storage of admissions catalogs.

There are other areas of space management in which the committee has been interested but makes no specific recommendations at this time. These are improvements and relocations which would bring about increased efficiency or improved appearance. Many of these changes require double moves and/or additional spaces.

Another area which we recommend needs further examination relates to self-funding projects, particularly the possibility of constructing some new faculty housing, possibly 8 to 10 apartments or town-houses of varying sizes to house new faculty members during the first two or three years of their appointment. We realize the extreme difficulty and high cost of appropriate housing in this area. We believe a small project could reasonably be self-supporting and a valuable recruiting device....(p.III:1-7)



Hampshire College Master Plan
Berkshire Design Group, 1992

Purpose of the Plan

In 1970 students first came to Hampshire College to take part in an extraordinary new venture in liberal arts education. It was based on a unique, single, compelling belief: that the most meaningful and lasting education is shaped by the student's own interests. According to this view, education is not something that is imposed upon a student, but a process that each student initiates and actively pursues.

To introduce this unique belief, the book The Making of a College was published in 1966, setting forth academic guidelines and physical planning principles to reinforce those guidelines. Based on the principles in that book, a campus master plan was prepared in 1966 by Sasaki Associates, beginning a planning legacy. This legacy, along with the academic principles behind it, have become the impetus behind Hampshire College's reputation for academic excellence unparalleled in a college of Hampshire's age.

A College community is greatly influenced by its physical setting. In fact, the physical environment itself is an educator, shaping attitudes and values, and can either enhance or impede even the strongest of academic strategies.

As a continuation of the beginning of a successful planning legacy, the purpose of this physical Master Plan is to re-evaluate the success of the physical environment of the campus, to accurately represent the ideas and philosophies of the College, and to translate them into physical form. The final product is a set of accurate recommendations for the planning of future buildings, circulation, aesthetics, and landscaping for the next ten to fifteen years....[p.4]

Master Plan Questionnaire

The questionnaire was designed and distributed to the Hampshire community, including alumni, to encourage community participation in the planning process, and to gain insight into the feelings of the community regarding the physical design of the campus. Questions ranged from contemplating the best and worst aspects of the physical layout of the campus to quantifying adequate amounts of space for different uses. It asked respondents to rate the campus for various aspects of life, including aesthetics, first impressions, circulation, and the relationships of classrooms to other campus spaces.

The following statements are summaries from the questionnaire, and are thus incorporated into the framework of the planning objectives for the master plan:

* Strong aspects of the current design are the spacing of buildings to each other, the rural feel of the college, the imagery of the apple orchards, the views and abundance of natural areas.
* There was a strong affinity for the architecture of the rural farm buildings, the red barn, and the scale and feeling of the arts village.
* Many responded positively to the main entrance drive, and mentioned the surrounding hills, orchards, sheep and farmlands.
* The method of integration of residences with the academic structures is well liked.
* Health Services is too far from the heart of campus, and that better drainage is needed in many areas of the campus, especially Enfield.
* A Campus Center is needed, and more aesthetically pleasing architecture without using precast concrete would help the image of the campus.
* A stronger connection to the multisport building is needed.
* Landscape improvements such as adding more trees and shrubs would greatly improve the sense of beauty of the campus.
* On-campus students, administration, faculty and alumni all agreed strongly that there is enough parking available, while off-campus students and staff said just the opposite.
* The administration and faculty feel strongly that there is not enough classroom space. This was further defined into a need for medium sized classrooms.
* There are not enough private areas, student housing, indoor gathering spaces, or conference space. Lack of student housing was later further defined to occur primarily only during the fall term.
* There are enough bus stops, athletic facilities, dining areas, outdoor gathering areas, and walkways, but bus stops are not well protected.
* While most of administration, staff, and faculty use the Route 116 entrance, more than half of the students use the Bay Road entrance....[p.13-14]

Program Description

The program for this plan was derived from a series of meetings with the Hampshire College community and has been discussed at length as to order of priority. It is the intent of this document to plan for the addition of all of the known proposed program facilities.

Hampshire has immediate need of the following new facilities, including in order of priority:

1. A community center
2. A science building and/or administrative space, moving the current location of administrative offices out of the science building
3. Library and special services space such as for film and new technology
4. A performance hall with space for drama and music, with at least one 600 seat auditorium
5. Classroom and faculty office space
6. Student affairs space
7. Remodeled and additional space in the residence halls
8. Physical plant storage and office space
9. Administration space

Over time Hampshire may want to relocate or regroup academic and administrative spaces. The campus plan should facilitate such regrouping, which will inevitably occur as fields, knowledge, and faculty change. In the short term, we should consider whether the current location of the humanities and arts is optimal in divided form and whether new "space" strategies would be appropriate to include in the campus plan, even at this preliminary stage. Areas to be considered for relocation might include:

* Writing and quantitative skills to the library area.
* Admissions and financial aid to central campus.
* Personnel, treasurer, and purchasing to central campus.
* Student affairs and residential offices in closer proximity.

As outside funds are available, Hampshire will expand its Farm Center Program, using the "trust land," land immediately adjacent to the campus owned by Hampshire Trustees.

Hampshire has, as a long term goal, the acquisition of that land, but does not have the resources in the near term to acquire it and cannot assume that it will be acquired. If Hampshire were to lose that land, agricultural activity should continue on Hampshire lands or on adjacent land.

Attention should be given to the ecology and landscape of the campus, and especially to the quality of horticultural diversity on campus, and to the potential for the campus as a whole to serve as an arboretum.

Hampshire proposes to use part of its land to attract campus organizations with missions complementing Hampshire's and those with professional staff who could serve as adjunct faculty. A current thought is that there would be a maximum of eight to twelve organizations utilizing 50 acres or less of college land on a lease or sale arrangement. Possible organizations or facilities include:

* A conference center of up to 150 rooms
* A center for science education oriented toward pre-college groups with participants utilizing some conference center rooms.
* Organizations that are complementary to the College such as the National Yiddish Book Center, and other non-profit cultural institutions.[p.15-16]

Master Plan Recommendations for College Land and Trust Land

* All college lands should be evaluated for their highest and best use in the context of improvements over the next ten to fifteen years.
* New building and construction must be responsive to the scale and character of the existing campus, and to the rural farm-style architecture of the surrounding area.
* The sense of the rural nature of the college must be preserved, along with the image of the apple orchards, especially as viewed from surrounding roads.
* The sense of individuality of Hampshire must also be fostered with new architecture, investigating new materials and building construction methods.
* A strong sense of environmental sensitivity and moral character must be maintained.
* Hampshire is to be maintained as a walking campus. Distances between buildings must be carefully evaluated. Residual open land between buildings should be developed as small courtyards and seating areas. Additional landscape features should be targeted for implementation.
* Campus land on the inside of the campus loop road should be reserved for academic, residential, and administration buildings only. Efforts should be made to complete outdoor spaces with buildings, creating quads, courtyards, and enclosed spaces. This is especially true of the main quad in front of the library and Cole Science Center.
* Campus land outside of the loop road is the primary buffer from the surrounding highways and roads, contributing strongly to the sense of rurality of South Amherst. Land outside the loop along Route 116 should be preserved for open space except where there are already farm-style structures or complexes. Land along Bay Road can be more intensively developed, however, views into the campus and out from the campus should be carefully examined with each proposal.
* Campus land on the perimeter of the core accommodates recreational and agricultural uses and woodland. This is this best location for college-related institutions to occur, so that their proximity and benefits to the college are maximized. Should growth of the core intrude on the perimeter land, replacement space must be found further out so that no reduction of recreational or agricultural uses occurs.
* The Campus currently encompasses 418 acres owned by the college. An additional 392 acres owned by trustees is immediately adjacent to college lands. The college should make every effort to purchase these lands for the future expansion of the college, and should also consider acquisition of other key adjacent parcels to the south and west of the campus. The college should also make every effort to purchase or control other key nearby parcels of land, as noted on the graphic master plan.
* Informal recreation and overflow spaces are essential to the Hampshire environment and must be preserved, enhanced, and coordinated.
* The college should be evaluated on a more detailed level for its aesthetic and environmental strengths and weaknesses. Strengths should be reported and weaknesses should be targeted for improvement.
* A program of replacements and improvements to the campus should be added to the yearly budget of capital improvements in addition to straight maintenance costs.
* Hampshire's abundant natural resources must be preserved and protected. Water quality, air quality, open space, wildlife, and woodlands should be addressed in a management plan.
* Recommendations for Buildings and Facilities
* College, school and department operations should remain cohesive, promoting beneficial cooperation between departments and efficiency of operations and costs. This, however, is not intended to supersede Hampshire's philosophical goals for relationships between academic departments and the student community.
* Many buildings currently house incompatible uses with either the building location or other uses in the building. These should be addressed and programmed for relocation as capital improvements are funded.
* Other buildings, such as some of the residential housing units, are outliving their intended life span, and should be targeted on a capital budget for replacement or substantial renovation.
* New buildings targeted in this plan should be located in the areas shown for each building or use. The areas shown are not intended to indicate individual buildings, shapes, or styles. It is the purpose of this Plan to show the general location of each programmed improvement, and give guidelines for the successful integration of the new structure or facility into the fabric of Hampshire life. Within these guidelines is sufficient room for individual creativity and the original problem response required by the uniqueness of the Hampshire philosophy.
* The conference facility should be studied further, including a marketing study to determine the size and number of restaurant seats, conference rooms and guest rooms.[p.19-20]

Recommendations for Infrastructure/Circulation

* Present and future parking needs must be accommodated within the campus, and parking should be discouraged where it is not intended. This plan makes provisions for adequate parking, but there is some work that needs to be done on community perception of tolerable distances between parking and offices or classrooms. One disadvantage of growth from a small core is that people are used to parking in close proximity to their intended destination. As growth occurs, the acceptance of further tolerable distances must also increase.
* The entrance road from Bay Road has been aesthetically impaired by the construction of Applewood across the street, and in particular, the location of Applewood's utilities. In order to insure an aesthetically pleasing entrance to the campus, the entrance should be relocated to a position where the land across the street is either controlled by Hampshire, or will remain preserved either by natural or political means.
* The pedestrian integrity of the campus core has been compromised by the introduction of the road that runs behind the library. This road should be removed, and access provided by that road relocated.
* The size of the main quad in front of the Cole Science Center is too small for the mass of the buildings that surround it. The bus loop should be relocated eastward to give a courtyard of appropriate proportions. The service access drive to Franklin Patterson Hall should be removed from this important first impression of the campus.
* Bus stops should all have weather protective shelters.
* The "four corners" intersection has always been a place of confusion on campus. The introduction of buildings in the core campus will reduce this feeling, as the campus core grows closer to the intersection.
* The campus loop road on the original master plan was never completed. While the additional lands in the northwest corner of the campus are not currently programmed for use, completion of the loop road would open up those areas to more interactive use with the college community, as well as providing a sense of completion to the circulation system.
* It should be acknowledged that the parking north of Greenwich Dormitories is not on Hampshire land, and contingency provisions in the overall campus planning should be made for that parking should the trust land be developed for other uses.
* Much of Hampshire land has been lost to wetlands due to lack of an overall storm water management plan. Such a plan should be developed, and steps taken to pursue extension of existing drainage facilities to accommodate the overall goal. Many wetland areas artificially created in the recent past will revert to upland as a result of this program with no substantial environmental consequences.
* Pedestrian safety must be ensured. Conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles must be resolved.
* Campus lighting must be coordinated in style and must be adequate for both safety and the perception of safety.[p.21]



Building the Perfect Beast: A Construction History of Hampshire College
Mark Oribello, (Division III), 1995

Envisioning the Hampshire Campus

Hampshire College was intended to be a fully new and different college rather than a retrofit of an existing college. It was felt that a "clean slate" would enable the implementation of new ideals and programs as well as provide an education different from any other. Of primary importance for an architectural program, therefore, was a genuine sensitivity toward the revolutionary principles embodied by the college. "The campus design should express in every possible way the distinctive social and educational character of Hampshire College."

Knowing that Hampshire's architecture would be a lasting statement Hampshire's planners were determined that the physical environment of Hampshire would respond to students' lives and academic needs vigorously. In a memo written by professor of history John Boettiger the sensitivity toward this unique campus' needs was made apparent. "In a sense, I suppose, Hampshire is building too early, before its collective personality is manifest; but then the campus will grow with the college, and later buildings might reasonably be expected to take on more clearly - more integrally - the life of those who will give it character." Still, it was felt that certain factors could be taken as constants and others could be reasonably anticipated.

Flexibility was important to the initial program; although the school had 300 students in its first class the college felt that in time that number could expand to over 3,000 plus needed faculty and staff. Furthermore, because Hampshire's philosophy encouraged the development of new programs and fields of study it would ideally outgrow its first buildings. The ability to expand existing structures was seen as crucial because Hampshire could not afford to continuously engage in expensive construction of new buildings.

An outstanding difference between Hampshire and other schools was the organization of fields of study into schools rather than departments. It was felt that interdisciplinary cooperation would be fostered by physical proximity. Originally, a single structure or series of physically linked structures was envisioned; each of the four schools would have their own wings, each with academic offices, support staff, and classrooms. The administration would be housed in a fifth wing, thereby enabling easy access to administration by students. At the center of these five wings would be the library and student services such as the bookstore and coffee shop.

In Patterson's original plan each small section of student living quarters was to be interspersed with academic buildings as well as some amount of faculty housing. By bringing students into close physical proximity with faculty and academic areas the academic and social aspects of a student's life would cease to be discrete entities. The governing idea behind this arrangement was not to force a student's academic life into a student's private life but rather to help the student to approach his work from a viewpoint more integrated with a "real world" perspective.

Hugh Stubbins was chosen as the first architect for the school; Stubbins had previously planned and designed the Southwest Quadrangle at the nearby University of Massachusetts as well as several buildings at Mount Holyoke College, including two new dormitory buildings. At the time Stubbins' firm was one of the foremost architectural firms for designing colleges, having worked for such schools as the University of Chicago, Bowdoin College, and Harvard University (where Stubbins had previously worked under Walter Gropius teaching architecture). Much of the work Stubbins produced quickly became the standard for such buildings; a prime example is the Countway Medical Library at Harvard University in which a large, open atrium space allowed for numerous seating arrangements, affording either privacy or large meeting spaces.

Stubbins' own personal philosophy of design meshed well with Hampshire's innovative ideals; as a professor of design Stubbins realized that Architecture as a profession did not stand alone. Rather, he reasoned, "Why shouldn't it augur well for the future if all these disciplines learn, in depth, at an early age, to work together, understand the strengths and problems of each other's profession, and break down the barriers of negative attitude and misunderstanding that have so seriously hindered communication?"

Further Planning

By 1967 visits to other dormitories had furnished Hampshire's administration with a working vocabulary for the plan for House I and II. Much of Patterson's original plan for intensely integrated living and academic quarters had been rethought; changing student opinion as to their needs had impressed upon Hampshire the desire for student housing that would allow Hampshire to "recognize the legitimacy of the student's wishes and to accommodate them to the extent possible by considering housing designed to be more private and more residential in character."

In fact the attitudes and desires of current college students became one of the foremost factors in deciding on a program for design of the students' houses. Hampshire College's founders felt that the academic program being presented demanded a high level of maturity while offering a high amount of personal freedom. An individual who is given a high degree of personal responsibility and freedom in their personal life would demonstrate this maturity through their schoolwork.

From previous visits to other schools and from interviews with students at other schools several facts were established. Singles were far more desirable than doubles or triples in that they offered more privacy as well as fostering a greater sense of independence. Some amount of social space was deemed necessary as well although a shared social space such as a lounge or suite's living room was deemed more favorable than individual spaces set aside for entertaining. Furthermore, a kitchenette and refrigerator was to be included in this social space so as to allow for greater flexibility within a student's daily life. Initially it was thought that four to six students sharing a social space would be most effective but it was later found that this number was not economically feasible.

After Hampshire's initial land acquisition of 435 acres in South Amherst it became necessary to retain a landscape architect who would not only develop a plan for immediate construction but for long term planning as well. The firm of Sasaki, Dawson, Demay Associates was chosen and began work on the Hampshire campus in December of 1965. By July of the following year a site analysis had been prepared and was presented to Hampshire's board of trustees. In their opinion, "...the site is very well suited to the development of Hampshire College. The site offers a handsome setting, prime building sites for economic development, good accessibility and an opportunity to plan rewarding community relationships."

One major physical factor that was discovered by Hampshire's surveyors was the fact that most of the land purchased by the school was glacial till with very few deposits of clay. What this meant was that the school's buildings could be set on relatively inexpensive, commonplace foundations rather than elaborate pilings or other such systems. Furthermore, the area planned for the center sat atop a slight hill, aiding in drainage. A small area in the northeast corner of the campus was the exception in that it sat in a depression, causing the area to flood in the spring or during heavy rainstorms. It was suggested by Sasaki, Dawson, and Demay that no construction occur in this area due to the extreme water and drainage problems; four years later House IV was placed on the spot.

For the rest of the campus, however, construction provided no major surprises. Most of the variance in construction techniques stemmed from design rather than engineering. Phase I construction was begun in late 1968 and by the end of 1969 Hampshire's first building, the House I Academic, was completed. Not long thereafter the Johnson Library Center and Residential House I were completed, the contractors from Aquadro and Cerruti working through a long and snowy winter to complete the exteriors.

Other construction had been taking place beforehand; several existing farmhouses on campus were either razed or renovated to house the growing Hampshire College staff and faculty. In this endeavor Hampshire had little or no professional help; rather, the former owners of Hampshire's property chipped in and helped out, some repairing clapboarding, some painting offices right alongside Hampshire's new all purpose employees, who would be administrative assistants to Charles Longsworth one day and Director of Personnel the next. In this way a small collection of outbuildings came to form a secondary center for the campus.

Construction on the natural sciences building was completed by the spring of 1970, just in time for new faculty to move in. Hampshire admitted its first class that fall, and as the students moved into their new housing they had the opportunity to witness the construction of Hampshire's second House, Dakin. Dakin was completed in time to house Hampshire's second incoming class; an addition to House I Dining, completed just shortly after, provided seating for an additional 300 students at mealtime.

Hampshire continued in its frenzied residential construction pace for the next three years; the year after Dakin was completed House III, named Greenwich, rose up out of the northwest corner of the campus, along with dining facilities. The next year Enfield was dropped on a parcel of land

that Sasaki, Dawson, and Demay called "poorly drained...not prime building sites".

The next year Hampshire abandoned the modular construction technique that had worked so well for them in House III and IV and returned to more traditional building techniques. Hampshire's final house was placed to the west of House I and II, completing the ring of houses around the central campus.

Unfortunately the houses still remained somewhat isolated due in large part to the fact that Stubbin's original plan called for a much more aggressive and urbanized campus, with twice the number of students and buildings already on campus. Because there were so few buildings the campus was made up of small, separate clumps of structures with little of no connection to the other buildings around them.

A further problem created by the unique feel of each of the separate houses was a feeling of schism between the two dormitories and the mods; in the words of one professor, "This is not the result, we feel, of different living styles, but rather to an unfortunate geographic distribution which seems to divide the campus in two. This tends to set up a we-they relationship and a loss of contact...that is further reinforced by the difference in architectural expression".

Most of the major construction for Hampshire had been completed by 1973; plans for an athletic building were on the drafting table and the Trustees were considering a program for a Humanities and Arts building but the major sections of Hampshire had already been delineated. Because the school had not chosen to complete Stubbins' master plan to its full scope it was left with only two buildings to "hold the hill".

Concern over this lack of focus at the most important part of campus became a major point in the program for the two remaining proposed buildings. If was hoped that these two buildings would be able to help focus the circulation and relationship between students and the campus. With this in mind the firm of Ashley, Myer, and Smith produced plans for an athletic center directly to the east. The athletic center would be connected to the library via a bridge located on the second floor of the new complex.

At the same time a solution was presented for the Humanities and Arts building which followed this same principle. The proposed building would be located across the library quadrangle to the south of the athletic center. It was hoped that by placing the building in front of the quadrangle a sense of arrival could be created; at the time the loop road ended up either at the rear of buildings or at parking lots far removed from the centers of campus life. As one designer stated, "Your choice, simply, is to arrive nowhere or outside."

Thanks to a generous donation from the Crown family the school was able to finance the construction of the athletic building; ground was broken in July, 1973 and fifteen months later the Robert Crown center was opened to Hampshire students, despite an ironworker's strike in August 1974. The spacious facility, designed by the New York firm of Davis, Brody, and Associates, had a 75 foot long pool which could be opened to the outside via a large 'sliding door' contrivance, staff offices, a climbing wall, and almost 10,000 square feet of gymnasium space usable for almost any sport. Furthermore, space had been provided overlooking both the swimming pool and gym floor where students could congregate during their free time.

Unfortunately the college was unable to raise the funds for the Humanities and Arts building; government cutbacks, as well as a shortage of private donors, caused Hampshire to rethink their strategy for the new Humanities and Arts building, Instead of the mammoth structure they had intended to place at Hampshire's "front doorstep" they instead built a series of prefabricated warehouse shells immediately between Dakin House and Prescott (House V) . In doing so they were able to use the bulk of their funds to fill out the insides of the spaces.

Hampshire's latest academic building was completed in 1989 and located within this "Arts Village". Adele Simmons Hall, named after Hampshire's third president, houses the school of Communications and Cognitive Sciences, Hampshire's youngest school. The school grew rapidly, originating as the Program in Language and Communications. The school incorporated the field of Cognitive Studies in the early 1980's, one of the first undergraduate colleges in the country to do so. By the time they were to move into their new building they had also encompassed much of the computer science taught at the school.

Unfortunately, by late 1974 Humanities and Arts was still, in a sense, homeless. Professors were crowded in the natural and social sciences buildings with little or no room of their own for studios, lecture rooms, and gallery spaces. At the time the House III and IV dining building was sparsely used; many people living in the mods preferred to cook for themselves and it was too far a walk for most people living in Merrill and Dakin. Thus the building was little more than a snack bar and was barely clearing costs. It was decided that the school would better benefit from using the space as offices and classrooms for the school of Humanities and Arts than the building's use. House V's dining hall, set up much like House III and IV's, could serve the needs of both houses. The space was vacated by SAGA, Inc. in 1976 and remodeled, creating two small theater spaces, several new classrooms, a design studio, and more faculty offices.

No further new construction occurred until 1987, when a large tennis facility was erected to the southeast of Prescott house. Paid for largely by private donations this "tennis barn" was partly a Hampshire facility, partly a private tennis club. Members of the public wishing to play at Hampshire could buy memberships to the "Bay Road Tennis Club" and use these facilities, which were also opened to Hampshire faculty, students, and staff.

The Hampshire day care center was erected not long afterward; this small, one story wood frame building was built for less than $300,000 in 1990. Hampshire had long recognized the importance of providing childcare for its employees. Prior to construction of the facility the college had retrofitted a section of the Dakin basement into a child care area. Enrollment at Hampshire had been low enough that the few rooms taken over by the child care center were not missed. It was soon realized, however, that the facilities in Dakin were neither appropriate nor feasible in the long run and the school allocated funds to build the structure which now stands to the east of the Multisports center.[p.2-14]

 
 

© 2014 Hampshire College 893 West Street Amherst, MA 01002 . 413.549.4600