Welcome to King and Wieland
The Residential Master Plan moved closer to completion this spring, as the
two new dorms being built in the southeast corner of campus were named and work
began on the reconstruction of James and Stearns.
The two new dorms—which students informally dubbed “Y” and “Z” during
the construction process—have been named King Hall and Wieland Hall. King
Hall, the more southerly of the two, will honor Stanley King ’03, president
of Amherst College from 1932 to 1946. An anonymous donor provided the funding.
The north dorm will be named Wieland Hall, in recognition of a gift from John
F. Wieland ’58, a real estate developer and philanthropist from Atlanta,
Scheduled to open at the beginning of the fall semester, King and Wieland were
designed by William Rawn & Associates of Boston and are being built by Barr & Barr
Builders of Framingham, Mass., at a cost of approximately $17 million. Architecturally,
the granite, four-story buildings are reminiscent of the simple, Puritan structures
of Amherst’s historic College Row. They reinforce a long-range view of
the eastern campus. The buildings’ relatively small floor plans, with a
maximum of 15 single-occupancy rooms on a floor, are designed to encourage community,
as are ample common rooms and living areas on the ground level. Together, the
dorms will house 115 upperclass students.
As King and Wieland began to take shape, another kind of work was underway on
James and Stearns. Inexpensively built and no longer up to code, these dormitories
could not be renovated to meet RMP requirements and so will be destroyed and
rebuilt in the same location. Site demolition began in mid-May, immediately after
students moved out and only weeks before Commencement and Reunion. The buildings’ new
foundations will be installed in mid-June, and by the end of the summer the structures’ rough
skeletons will be clear. Most of the buildings’ steel framing and decking
will be in place by the time students arrive on campus in the fall, and the “new” James
and Stearns should be complete by August 2005. At an estimated cost of $19 million,
the project is being
designed by Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott of Boston. The new buildings
will not look very different from the old ones, with traditional hip roofs and
facades; they will incorporate many design elements from North and South and
follow the basic footprint of the dorms they are
replacing. The one exception will be along the back, where, instead of an L-shape,
the new dorms will form a curve around the courtyard facing the Mead Art Museum.
This curve not only will complement the existing courtyard architecturally, but
also will provide additional space within the dorms without substantially increasing
their size. On the inside, the curved back section will house a lounge with a
view of the Neuhoff Sculpture Court in front of the Mead.
Over the next four years the RMP
will encompass the conversion of Charles Pratt to student residences, the construction
of the new Geology Building and Natural History Museum, and the renovation of
Appleton, Morris Pratt, Morrow and Valentine.
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