Restoration and Construction

Building on 175 Years

In the midst of current work on several construction and renovation projects, Oxford is already looking toward its top development priority, the completion of a new science facility. While fund-raising is focused on major gifts and the contributions for named spaces such as laboratories, a new effort provides an easy way to participate in the construction of the science building one square foot at a time. One Square Foot of Science challenges alumni and other friends of Oxford to pledge $45 per month for one year—the cost to build one of the forty-eight thousand gross square feet in the schematic design.

One of the primary goals established in the Oxford College Strategic Plan for 2010―2015 is the building and improvement of a physical infrastructure “that effectively supports Oxford’s academic mission and vision.” During the past year and a half, Oxford has greatly advanced that goal through an intense period of construction and renovation. Bookended by the exterior renovation of Seney Hall, begun in summer 2011, and the opening of a new library and academic commons expected in August 2013, these projects are making an impact on virtually every inch of the Oxford landscape. “We are expanding our facilities in mission-critical areas while also improving the overall appearance and architectural integrity of the campus,” says Dean Stephen Bowen.

The buildings and associated projects include:

Seney Hall

The final phase of improvements to the exterior of Seney Hall will be completed by year end. East- and west-side windows and the front entrance doors have been removed, sent to restoration experts to be refurbished, and reinstalled. The remaining windows are now being refurbished and will be reinstalled by year end. During the first phase of the project, in summer and fall 2011, Seney’s roof was replaced with a slate roof in keeping with the building’s original design, water-damaged soffits and fascia were replaced, and improvements were made to the guttering and water runoff systems.

Language Hall

An extensive interior demolition has been done to accommodate a redesign that includes four classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, faculty offices, modern HVAC, and a more aesthetic entrance. The exterior will include details that are reminiscent of the original 1874 design. An addition to the building will bring it to ADA standards and allow for needed ancillary space.

Oxford College Library and Academic Commons

Ground was broken on the new library and academic commons on May 12 during Commencement 2012. Following interior demolition, the original 1970 building is being repurposed for the new facility and 10,000 square feet added to the footprint. The interior will be brought up to twenty-first-century standards from the standpoint of both design and technology. The exterior will more closely address the Oxford green, and its design will be more in keeping with the historic buildings adjacent to it. Completion is scheduled for summer 2013.

Two projects are largely complete. Williams Gymnasium (Old Gym), built in 1907, underwent structural work during spring and summer. Upon routine inspection last fall, engineers found that the historic suspended wooden running track, one of only a few left in the US, had compromised the building’s original wooden trusses. The trusses have been reinforced and a new, more historically aesthetic roof is being installed and will be completed by year end. The Oxford green is now a pedestrians-only zone, with no vehicles (other than emergency vehicles) allowed beyond the Hamill Street gates. Bricking of the central footpaths, which was partially completed in 2008, was completed earlier this fall, further enhancing the restful and gracious atmosphere of Oxford’s green and historic landscape

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