The construction of the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art, which began in mid-summer of 2011, is scheduled to be finished next August, according to Associate Vice President for Facilities and Planning Steve Bellona.
In a recent interview, he explained that the construction crew has poured the concrete slabs for the gallery floor, the open archive and art preparation rooms. He expects a temporary roof will be completed prior to the New Year and the building enclosed by mid-January.
There have been no unexpected complications in the construction process this year. Bellona explained that they dealt with summer and fall rains, but work has progressed smoothly inspite of the weather. When asked how students have reacted to all the associated activity, Bellona smiled and said, “The students have been very understanding of the construction process especially those students who live in Saunders Residence Hall adjacent to the site.”
The Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art is on the corner of College Hill and Griffin Roads. On the west side of the building, facing Griffin Road, will be the main gallery space, which replaces the Emerson Gallery. The central archive hall, two stories of glass display space that will showcase the College’s collections, will run the length of the building’s center. There will be a classroom, which will face College Hill Road. The second floor will house office spaces as well as extra art storage and two seminar rooms. Finally, the building has a full basement with mechanical space and an expansion storage area for art. The campus may be focused on the museum construction, but Bellona explained that Hamilton is preparing construction documents for a new Theater and Studio Arts building across the street. If approved for construction by the Board of Trustees, the Theater-Studio Arts project is expected to begin this coming summer.