The Memorial Hall Renovation
Building a Stronger Residential Community
Residential life is one of the cornerstones of the Hotchkiss experience. Our residence halls are much more than places to rest and study; they’re a home away from home, a space for students to form lifelong friendships, develop a sense of independence, practice leadership, and learn to live with one another. At Hotchkiss, 96 percent of students live on campus and share their daily lives together, contributing their individual strengths, talents, and opinions while learning to respect one another’s differences.
Since its founding, Hotchkiss has been deeply committed to building a sense of community. The School’s mission makes this clear — “Guided by each other, let us seek better paths.” The quality of our residence halls is essential to this mission. In keeping with our strategic goal of building a stronger sense of community, Hotchkiss is planning to move forward with a series of ambitious residential life projects, including the renovation of Beuhler, Coy, and Tinker, and a complete renovation and slight expansion of Memorial Hall.
As a leader among boarding schools, Hotchkiss will continue to set the standard for excellence in residential education. To do so, we must establish a consistent standard in our own residential facilities. The renovation of Memorial Hall will exemplify the excellence of the Hotchkiss residential program.
Hotchkiss is a living and learning environment 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. Our residential facilities are vital, formative places where students and faculty come together outside the classroom, and where students' ideas and character develop. We believe it is important to provide students with spaces that cultivate community and deepen their learning and growth at Hotchkiss. Our goal is to create appealing dormitories that offer a richer connection between faculty members and students and that attract and retain the highest quality faculty.
As we began planning for this project, we focused on key aspects of residential life that will strengthen the Hotchkiss community. Since the completion of Redlich, Edelman, and Flinn halls, we have witnessed firsthand the positive impact that comfortable lounges, group study areas, spaces for special programming, and attractive dorm rooms have on student well-being and community life. For faculty members, redesigned apartments in the residence halls enhance their quality of life while allowing them to stay closely connected to students.
All of these improvements reflect the pillars of our residential program:
Mentor-inspired: Most faculty members and their families live on campus, the majority in residence halls, and are a vital part of residential life. Our proctor leadership program helps new students integrate into the Hotchkiss community, and allows older students to practice leadership skills. Dorm faculty play a crucial in loco parentis role in supporting students in all aspects of their lives.
A Place for Building Connections: Our dormitories are places of shelter, safety, rest, study, friendship, and fun. They are also places where our students mature intellectually, emotionally, and physically, and live healthily, happily, and effectively with others in order to prepare for, most imminently, the greater liberty of college life.
All-inclusive: Ninety six percent of our students reside on campus full-time. At Hotchkiss, residential life is a comprehensive program designed to engage each and every student and create a strong, vibrant community.
Memorial Hall is one of 13 residence halls on campus. Built in 1923 and designed by architect Cass Gilbert, it memorialized the alumni, faculty, and staff who died fighting in World War I. A bronze plaque on the first-floor corridor lists their names. The building was last renovated in 1963, and over the years much-needed maintenance has been deferred. The 25,238-square Georgian-style structure currently houses 58 students on four floors, four one-bedroom faculty apartments, and a basement with laundry facilities and storage space.
Memorial Hall Renovation Details
Estimated Cost: $16MM
Newman Architects has been contracted for this project, which is slated to begin in June 2020 and completed by August 2021.
Renovation details include:
- Expand square footage from 25,238 to 26,920. Construct a modestly scaled addition that will reduce the student/faculty ratio from approximately 14.5:1 to 12:1 (from housing 58 students with four one-bedroom faculty apartments to housing 48 students with four two- and three-bedroom faculty apartments)
- Provide the ability to convert a student room on three of four levels into comfortable student study lounges or group workspaces
- Enlarge and renovate the first floor common space, including restoring the formal entrance and extending it into Memorial Quad. The common space will also house the memorial plaque commemorating the Hotchkiss alumni, faculty, and staff lost in World War I.
- Allow for more stable and diverse residence hall faculty teams
- Memorial Hall faculty residents will likely stay in residence longer providing greater dorm continuity
- Renovated apartments will be appropriate for families (currently, the building is typically occupied by only single faculty or married couples without children, few of whom stay in the building longer than 1-2 years)
- Relocate parking area outside of Memorial Quad to improve central walkways and open up space for more outdoor student activities in a pedestrian-oriented space
- Upgrade and renovate bathrooms
- Install a new elevator for accessibility and access to faculty apartments
- Replace all heating, electrical, and plumbing systems with energy-efficient and ADA-compliant improvements
Support Our Vision
Please join us in making the renovation of Memorial Hall possible. Your support is a direct investment in the Hotchkiss student experience, sending a clear signal to today’s students and those considering Hotchkiss that the quality of our residential program is, and will continue to be, of primary importance.
For further information, please contact Josh Hahn, assistant head of school and director of strategic initiatives, at (860) 435-3151.