Progress Reported on Planning for Art, Music, and Science Projects

Plans are progressing for construction/renovation projects involving the Art Building, Pratt Hall, and the science complex. All three projects depend on The Campaign for Mount Holyoke for funding. Trustee Barbara McClearn Baumann '77, a member of the Campaign Facilities Oversight Committee, said that trustee group reviewed the planning process and approved architects for each project. "The trustees were pleased with the selection of architects, and impressed with the broad research and creativity that the three faculty planning committees are bringing to their projects."

Wayne Gass, dean of administration, said that although architects presented preliminary ideas as part of the selection process, no plans have been finalized yet for any of the projects. "Discussions between architects and those who use the buildings will inform the final designs," he explained.

Each project has its own faculty planning committee; they have been meeting regularly since fall 1998. A representative of each project gave updates on its progress at the last faculty meeting.


Michael Davis, professor of art, reported on planned changes to the Art Museum gallery and exhibition space and to the art library. The art library's collection will largely be integrated into the general library collection, freeing space for new high-tech classrooms, more space for senior studio art majors, a computer and media studies lab, and office space for film studies. In addition, The Hillyer Group architect, Nicholas Garrison, is proposing that space in the outdoor sculpture court be incorporated into exhibition gallery space. This alteration would also provide a covered link between the upper floors of the art building and the museum. The sculpture studio area, currently occupied by a "warren" of small spaces, will be opened to create larger, more flexible spaces.


Linda Laderach, associate professor of music, said the Music Project Committee has no firm plan yet, but plans to make Pratt accessible to the physically challenged and consolidate the music library from eight rooms to one collection. The College will hire the architectural firm of Miller Dyer Spears who recently did the Berklee College of Music in Boston. More information is available (to the MHC community only) at this Web site:


Don O'Shea, dean of the faculty, said the Science Project Committee, led by Aaron Ellison, associate professor of environmental studies, recently visited some twenty schools' science buildings to gather ideas of what worked and what didn't. A construction manager, George B. H. Macomber of Macomber Associates, and an architectural firm, Einhorn Yaffee Prescott, have been selected.

Next steps

Once contracts have been signed, Gass says architects will meet with the relevant project committee, and other groups as needed, to examine users' needs for the project. Then architects will present design concepts, followed by actual plans. The Campaign Facilities Oversight Committee is expected to approve schematic designs and cost estimates for all three projects by June, according to Gass.