Ground Breakings Signal Move from Planning to Action
Celebrating the transformation of years of planning into action,
members of the MHC community gathered March 31 to break ground for
two ambitious building and expansion projects that promise to deepen
and enrich the teaching of the arts and sciences.
More than 150 College officials, alumnae, students, faculty, and
other members of the MHC community were on hand outside the Mount
Holyoke College Art Museum at 10 am to celebrate the start of the
expansion and renovation of the thirty-year-old building. After lunch,
they gathered once more outside Shattuck Hall, to mark the start of
construction of a 38,000-square-foot building that will transform
Clapp, Shattuck, Cleveland, and Carr into the Unified Science Center.
The two projects have a total cost of $40.6 million.
In presentations after each ground breaking, attendees learned about
the planning that has gone into each project and got a glimpse of
things to come, through computer-generated, virtual "tours"
of the completed buildings.
President Joanne Creighton praised the College's legacy in art and
science, and the continuing quality of its students, faculty, and
resources. "Now we think it's time to make our facilities worthy
of the people and the resources in them and worthy of Mount Holyoke
College," she said, before the first shovelful of earth was turned.
Michael Davis, professor of art, said his involvement in the art
museum project has changed the way he thinks about and teaches architecture.
"The goal is not simply to put up new walls, but to bring the
building into the twenty-first century and make it a facility that
can support, in a vigorous and active way, the quality of the program
that we are building." He congratulated all who have worked on
the project, saying they had "never lost hope" and "rarely
Ellison said he appreciated "seeing people working together
in constructive and collegial ways to make sure this building works
for everybody," a challenge that Rachel Fink, associate professor
of biological sciences, summed up as "a Rubik's cube." He
singled out the contributions of electricians, plumbers, ventilation
technicians and other workers from facilities management, who "came
up with solutions to make a better functioning building."
Donal O'Shea, dean of faculty, said the new Unified Science Center
will continue MHC's tradition of producing women scientists. Creating
a building where the various branches of science are encouraged to
overlap, O'Shea said, comes at a time of radical change for all branches
of science. The reconstructed and expanded building, he said, "will
foster excellence, and it will foster serendipity, I'm absolutely
certain of that."
Creighton announced that the new cience building, funded by an anonymous donor, will be called Kendade Hall. The science center, Creighton said, "will make a statement of excellence about the College. It will be a building worthy of Mount Holyoke College."