Modernization of Wilber Hall’s three-story tower began this summer, making it the final academic building to join a transformation of east campus over the past two decades. The project is also the last major push in the college’s effort to provide a 21st century home for the School of Education.
From Rich Hall’s renovation in 1998 to the reopening of Wilber in 2018, the academic quad radiating from Sheldon Hall to the east of the Marano Campus Center will have received new construction and renovation approaching $175 million in state capital and donor funds.
The School of Education’s renewal received national attention as a showcase for cutting-edge facility designs and equipment for teachers of the future as the cover story of the June issue of College Planning & Management magazine.
Named for 1940s-era industrial arts director Gordon Wilber, the building opened in 1964. It will now blend architecturally with Park Hall, thanks to a design that shows new windows in the same rhythm as Wilber’s 84-year-old, recently renovated sibling. The two buildings are now connected by a soaring new atrium and its interior walkways.
Besides technologically “smart” classrooms, Wilber’s tower will house the departments of curriculum and instruction and of counseling and psychological services. An exercise laboratory/wellness center will support work in health promotion and wellness, whose offices are in Park Hall along with those of the school’s other three departments: technology, vocational teacher preparation and educational administration.
The tower, vacant since spring semester’s end, is scheduled to reopen in January 2018, Associate Vice President for Facilities Services Mitch Fields said, ending a period of some decentralization for the School of Education and migrations to temporary quarters for faculty and staff.
Massa Construction of Geneva, N.Y., is general contractor for the $750,000 first-phase demolition and abatement work in Wilber tower, utilizing a plan from Adirondack Operations, a state-certified, women-owned business enterprise in Croghan, N.Y.