Williston Breaks Ground on New Dormitory


The Williston Northampton School broke ground on October 6 on a building project that will transform its Easthampton campus. The new dormitory and faculty housing are the cornerstone of a Residential Quadrangle that will be home to students and faculty. The quad will be located across Park Street from the main campus, just behind the Phillips Stevens Chapel.

During a ceremony attended by the school’s Board of Trustees, Chairman John Hazen White ’76, Head of School Robert W. Hill III, and students and faculty, the school broke ground on the state-of-the-art, 40-bed residence hall with four attached faculty homes. The new building will open onto a renovated green that will serve as an outdoor gathering space, replacing the parking lot to the rear of the chapel. The building is scheduled to open in time for the start of school in September 2018.

The new dorm floor plan includes a large common area for studying, socializing, and collaborating, and for gatherings that would welcome all students. The new residential quad will help Williston continue to draw academically talented students from across the country and around the world. The faculty housing, likewise, will enable Williston to attract and retain dedicated, high-quality faculty members. The project will continue the school’s strong commitment to energy efficiency and environmental sustainability through use of geothermal heating and cooling, high efficiency fixtures, and solar-heated hot water systems.

Supported by generous donations from alumni, parents, and friends, project site work commenced in early September, when two former faculty homes and one former residence hall (French House) were taken down to make room for the construction. The $8M+ project significantly advances Williston’s 2014 Strategic Plan, a main tenet of which is to create a robust boarding school culture and a vibrant residential community. The Board of Trustees approved construction of the project in the spring.

“Not only will this expand the living and studying spaces for students and faculty, but it will also enhance the strong sense of community that is already so much at the heart of Williston.” said Hill. He further remarked that the school community is energized by this project and excited to see the campus’ physical development.

The new dorm was designed by Flansburgh Architects of Boston, the firm that designed the residence hall at 194 Main Street. General Contractor Newfield Construction, Inc., of Hartford will take the lead on the project and has subcontracted with many local businesses, including Dietz Construction of Easthampton (site work), Whitely Electric of Easthampton (electric), RCI Roofing in Easthampton (roof work), and MJ Moran of Haydenville (plumbing and HVAC).

See photos of the ground breaking here.

Read more about Williston’s building projects, and see the live web cam of the dorm construction here.