The summer months saw expansion and renovation at Simon’s Rock. The College purchased two adjacent properties on Hurlburt Road and completed a dramatic renovation to Kendrick House, one of the College’s three original student houses.
The Hurlburt Road properties were purchased from Margaret Whitfield Courant, the daughter of Simon’s Rock founder, Elizabeth Blodgett Hall. The sale was six months in the making and adds five acres to the College’s existing 275 acres, and two new campus houses.
“The final agreement reflects the Hall family's enduring legacy to this institution, and our Board of Overseers' extraordinary commitment to Simon's Rock,” Provost and Vice President of the College, Mary B. Marcy said. “I look forward to incorporating these properties into the College’s long-term planning.”
The two new houses occupy the five acre parcel and are surrounded by state protected, pastoral views. This summer, longtime faculty members U Ba and Judith Win moved into the Onward House, next door to the early 20th century Checker Chance Cottage.
Closing in on the College’s 1997 Master Plan, the Kendrick House, built in1967, was brought up-to-date with major renovations and efficiency upgrades. In addition to modernizing the dorm’s interior plan, bathrooms, fixtures and floors, the College integrated several green technologies into the design. “We built a new roof and skylight to improve insulation and ventilation,” director of physical plant Steve Carignan explains. “Kendrick’s heating system was replaced with a new, state-of-the-art, 95%-plus efficient gas boiler. And we also used completely recycled flooring and outfitted the building with high-efficiency compact florescent lighting.”
The most cutting-edge change in the renovation came when the College decided to expand the campus’s use of Direct Digital Control (DDC) technology, already in place at the Kilpatrick Athletic and Daniel Arts Center. The DDC eases energy usage by digitally managing the heating and cooling functions in order to smartly distribute energy based on the building’s actual usage. A Trane heat recovery unit will compliment the DDC at Kendrick by capturing heat from its exhaust air and reusing it in the heating cycle.
More is certain to come. The College has contracted the Connecticut based architectural firm, Centerbrook to update the Master Plan it developed for the College in 1997. Architects will identify ways to best use the Hurlburt properties and will respond to the need for additional student residences following the College’s surge in enrollment.