WILLIAMSTOWN -- The opening of Williams College’s new library remains on track for the fall 2014 semester, according to Stephen Klass, vice president for campus life.
Klass said Tuesday that the Stetson-Sawyer Library project is still expected to be "substantially completed" by the late winter or early spring of 2014, which will give the college five to six months following the completion to go through all the punch list items before the building opens.
"We’re giving ourselves ample time on the back end of this to make sure we’re ready for the late August, early September opening," he said.
The weather this summer has been very helpful, and the project has been able to pick up some ground that it lost early on last year, he said.
"We’re within a couple of weeks of being on schedule," he said. "If we don’t get another tropical storm or another October blizzard, I think we’ll be able to make the time up without an impact on the quality of work."
They’re also within striking distance of getting certain things in order so the building can be buttoned up for the winter, he said.
The project hit a snag early in construction when crews encountered a rock ledge made of quartzite, which doesn’t fracture easily. Professors from the college’s geosciences department estimated the ledge to be 1.5 billion years old.
The $80 million renovation and expansion of Stetson
The project is one of the final pieces in a roughly $137 million capital project that began with the construction of Hollander and Schapiro halls, which opened in September 2008. The final element of the project will be the demolition of the old Sawyer Library and the transformation of that area into green space.
Klass said that on Aug. 17, concrete was poured for the fourth floor of the addition to Stetson Hall, and pieces of structural reinforcement that reach up to the roof are now beginning to be installed.
"We’re now getting a sense of the outline of the building and its size and scale," he said.
Meanwhile, work has been ongoing on the exterior of the existing Stetson Hall.
"We’ve replaced the slate roof and did some chimney work. There is also work being done around the windows, which is almost completed," Klass said.