Wondering about the history of the Stetson-Sawyer renovations? This 70 page report (pdf) is undated by seems to have been written a decade ago.

Every few decades, Williams College seems to embark on a building flurry that results in the renovation and construction of buildings all across campus. The simple modernist facades of Bronfman Science Center, Mission Hall, and Bernhard Music Center stand testament to one such flurry that occurred in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. It appears that Williams College is primed to begin another decade of development. The Unified Science Center, completed this fall, stands ready to be joined by a renovated Baxter and new Performing Arts Center. Stetson Hall and Sawyer Library are also under consideration for renovations in the near future.

The possibilities for improving Stetson and Sawyer are, some would say, boundless. Our team was given the task of distilling the most cogent, practical, necessary possibilities and using them to make recommendations for the renovation of the two buildings.

Stetson Hall is infamous on campus as being a confusing building. Many freshman find that their first experience with the building is getting lost on the way to a professor’s office. The front of the building has floors 1 through 4; the back, levels a through h. Furthermore it is possible to go up a staircase from one level only to find that the next landing you come to is two levels above the one you were just on. The building’s layout simply isn’t intuitive. Furthermore, the demands placed on the building are quickly outgrowing its space.

Sawyer Library fortunately lacks Stetson Hall’s confusion but unfortunately also lacks its beauty, both in its interior and exterior. More important than its aesthetics, though, is the building’s lack of space. Built in the pre-computer era, the library is rapidly running out of space for books, computers, study areas, and everything else.

The college decided two years ago to investigate renovating Stetson Hall and more recently decided to also investigate the renovation of Sawyer Library. This project researches the needs of both buildings as well as possible options for their renovations. We view this renovation as an opportunity for the college to make a positive impact on the architectural atmosphere of the campus.

I have yet to read the whole report. Anything interesting? I would curious to read what Professor Michael Brown thinks about the trajectory of the project over the last decade.

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