Academic Resources

From classrooms equipped with SmartBoards to an 87,000-volume library, a newly renovated science building, and a world-class music and arts center, Hotchkiss provides the academic resources students need to explore their own interests, to give voice or vision to their own ideas, and to communicate in the languages of various subject areas. The facilities and resources our students use are widely available without lengthy waits.

Since the beginning, the School's Main Building has been the academic -- and social -- center of the Hotchkiss campus. A Hotchkiss student attends class, studies, eats, meets friends, and does library research in Main. Students and teachers come together every day in classes, theater rehearsals, chapel meetings, and in countless person-to-person exchanges. And it's a quick walk from Main Building to the Griswold Science Building, where the science and film and photography classrooms and departments are located.

The School has established the student computing initiative — in which all students are provided with a laptop to use during their time at Hotchkiss — as a key component of our goal to provide reliable, equitable, and ubiquitous access to computing resources. By equipping students with computers that have the same hardware and software, the School enables teachers to utilize computing more effectively in the classroom. Everyone at Hotchkiss is connected to one another -- and to the wider world. Each dormitory room is wired for high-speed access to the campus network and the Internet, as are campus workstations located in the Ford Library and the Watson Computer Center.

Main Building

The Main Building houses 30 spacious teaching classrooms, all equipped with SmartBoards (network-linked computerized whiteboards). Also centrally located in Main: the Black Box Theater, the Esther Eastman Music Center, Edsel Ford Memorial Library, the modern languages laboratory, the Tremaine Gallery, and the Watson Computer Center.

The Watson Computer Center

In a world in which rapidly changing technology is a fact of daily life, Hotchkiss keeps students on top of the technological learning curve. The Watson Computer Center is the largest of several advanced computer facilities that provide students and faculty with advanced technology for their disciplines, Internet and intranet access, and access to campus file servers and e-mail. The Center houses 20 Apple iMac computers that can boot into either the Mac OS or Windows 7, as well as a black and white laserjet and a color laser jet printer. In addition, there are a dozen Macintosh machines available for advanced work in music and the arts. Other computer labs are located in the mathematics and modern languages departments, the science building, and the library.

In addition to the numerous computers available for student use on campus, the library has 30 iMacs that boot only into the Mac OS, and three black and white laserjet printers available for student use. There are a limited number of laptops available for students to check out overnight. While Hotchkiss doesn’t require students to bring their own computers, many choose to do so. 

The Edsel Ford Memorial Library

The Edsel Ford Memorial Library’s collections put students in touch with time-honored texts and the latest information technology. All materials, regardless of format, are available on open shelves in a fully integrated and accessible arrangement.

Opened in 1952, the library was renovated in 1981, increasing its size to 25,000 square feet. Some of what you'll find: 250 carrels, 30 computer workstations, 20 laptops (available for students to check out), 87,000 volumes, and a catalog with access to more than 3,000 e-book titles. The on-line public access catalog, available at workstations throughout the library, provides sophisticated, easy access to the collection. Membership in the On-line Computer Library Center (OCLC), a consortium of more than 41,000 libraries throughout the world, provides interlibrary loan access to more than 47 million items. The library also provides campus-wide access to remote databases for work in all major disciplines. Journal articles, digital images, book reviews, and abstracts are easily accessible through powerful on-line indices from any location on the campus network.

For a more in-depth look at Hotchkiss's library collections, please visit the Library pages.

Griswold Science Building

In the sciences, Hotchkiss provides students with the tools they need to discuss and understand scientific ideas. The Griswold Science Building is a newly renovated and continually updated facility with state-of-the-art classrooms that integrate discussion space with hands-on laboratories specifically designed for each scientific discipline. Some highlights:

  • Labs/seminar classrooms for biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as astronomy-optics and limnology
  • A multi-discipline lab/classroom accommodating science electives such as engineering, geology, and forensics
  • A grow room equipped with appropriate lighting racks for growth experiments
  • A microscopy room with a scanning electron microscope and other high-powered microscopes
  • A computer resource room housing science periodicals, a weather station, and a half-dozen computer workstations
  • A 115-seat lecture hall equipped with advanced audiovisual capabilities

Beyond Griswold Science Building, the various ecosystems of Hotchkiss’s natural areas (encompassing more than 500 acres of woods, two lakes, wetlands, fields, brooks, and ponds) together with nearby caves and an old-growth forest provide an extraordinary lab for hands-on learning in courses such as AP Environmental Science, Limnology (lake studies), and Stream Ecology. In fact, Hotchkiss was one of the first schools to adopt the new College Board curriculum in AP Environmental Science.

Art and Performance Facilities

Many students come to Hotchkiss for the extraordinary training and arts education they can receive here. In support of our arts program, the School offers superb studio and performance facilities at the heart of the Hotchkiss campus, including:

  • Black Box Theater
  • Esther Eastman Music Center
    • Katherine M. Elfers Hall
      715-seat concert hall with Fazioli piano
    • 12 Steinway pianos
    • 12 practice rooms
    • 3 ensemble practice rooms
    • WKIS radio station
    • Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) lab
  • Tremaine Gallery
  • Walker Auditorium (615-seat proscenium theater)
  • art history lecture hall
  • 5 visual arts studios (painting, sculpture, and printmaking)
  • ceramics studio with two kilns
  • dance studio
  • digital media center
  • 5 darkrooms, including a teaching darkroom with 9 enlargers
  • photography classroom and studio
  • screening room
  • video editing room