Stepping inside a Seymour Hall under renovation is a fascinating opportunity, revealing a project that has been a precision balancing act between honoring the building's history and equipping it for today's students and faculty.
Jeff Jacot, WRA Director of Facilities/Construction, says the hardest part of the project comes with a twist of irony: "Maintaining structural integrity while removing structure." This challenge has created a worksite and a project that reveal many intriguing features bridging the building's past and future.
- The building's original cupola has been repurposed as the fresh air circulator for the building. Situated in Seymour's attic, you can walk into the cupola, which looks like a hideaway spaceship. The cupola is no longer needed for roof ventilation, so in its new iteration, it acts as an energy wheel, pushing warm air out and reheating cool air coming in for the benefit of the natural environment in the building.
- The attic also includes a large hole cut into the floor with a rope pulley system to lift heavy equipment to the third floor.
- A renovation might suggest a solution to "problems" like creaking floors. However, Jacot and team believed the creaks and grooves of the floor were part of the building's charm, and saved dollars by leaving well enough alone.
- The classroom spaces already look stunning, even in their current unfinished state. Features include ceilings nearly 14 feet tall and windows not far behind in height. Natural light and beautiful views of campus are abundant in the first and second floor spaces. Paint colors will be a natural palette – think whites and tans – as the views out the windows, in any season, will take center stage.
- New luxuries include first-time features like air conditioning (powered by the sophisticated geothermal system), a restroom on the second floor and an elevator.
- The English, Mathematics, Modern & Classical Language and History Departments will have new collaborative workspaces and offices for the faculty Chairs.
- The Reserve Record and Hardscrabble will retain their appropriately storied spaces on the ground level.
- Tours of Seymour Hall, even further along in its evolution, will be offered on Reunion Weekend.
We thank our amazing community of alumni, parents and friends who have enabled Seymour's exquisite renovation and can't wait to welcome everyone back to the building.