Westmont Magazine The Shape of Things to Come on Campus
While faculty homes in Las Barrancas and structures in Clark Halls rise from the ashes, three new buildings emerge on campus
Crews construct walls for Adams Center.
An aerial view reveals progress on the new observatory.
The foundation for tiered seating is evident at the site of Winter Hall.
During spring semester, buildings began to emerge from excavated Westmont ground. A front loader dumps gravel that workers rake to create the base of Winter Hall for Science and Mathematics. Meanwhile, the two-story, 100-seat lecture hall in this facility is taking shape. Offset windows to be placed behind the tiered rows will eliminate glare on the projection screen and laptops. The two lower levels of Winter Hall now visible will contain classrooms, lecture halls, laboratories and research spaces. But when workers pour the concrete floors, they will all be buried from sight until the 43,000-square-foot building opens in 2010.
To the north, another team works on Adams Center for the Visual Arts. They build walls and columns near the site of a future covered, outdoor work area for students studying ceramics and sculpture. The lower western end of the building features computer graphics labs, mechanical storage and a freight elevator to accommodate large objects displayed in the gallery. The lower level steps up to join the academic paseo connecting the library, Adams Center and Porter Theatre. To the east, toward the formal gardens, new walls outline a 60-seat, tiered lecture hall, an elevator and gallery storage area.
Crews have surrounded the new observatory with scaffolding to apply stucco to the metal mesh exterior. Inside, a thick concrete column rises from the floor to the viewing platform above. This column is an independent structure so the Keck Telescope, when installed, won’t pick up any vibrations from the surrounding building.
Construction workers are making extensive progress rebuilding the 14 Las Barrancas faculty homes leveled in the November Tea Fire. While the floor plans remain the same, architect Gil Garcia has brought the structures up to code. After clearing away charred debris, workers poured new slabs on top of existing slabs for the gutted homes. Crews started work in April and have completed much of the framing and trusses. General contractor Parton-Edwards Construction says residents will be moving back into their homes starting in December.
Framing is well underway on the 14 faculty homes destroyed in the Tea Fire.
Work is also finishing on 27 other Las Barrancas homes that were damaged in the fire but not destroyed. Crews have removed every window and replaced them with aluminum-framed windows, which meet current fire codes.
Rebuilding of the three structures in Clark Halls that burned began as soon as the spring semester ended. Architect Peter Ehlen and student life officials took advantage of an opportunity to improve the floor plans for these residences.
Repairs to Clark M and S will be finished by the end of summer.