Ceremonies mark buildings' openings

by Cathy Wu | 11/6/06 6:00am

The College celebrated the opening of Kemeny Hall and the Haldeman Center with two dedication ceremonies and tours of the new buildings this weekend. Their completion marks the end of a two-year long construction period.

Kemeny Hall replaces the soon-to-be-demolished Bradley and Gerry Halls, which previously housed the mathematics department. The Haldeman Center houses three interdisciplinary programs: the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, the Institute for the Study of Applied and Professional Ethics and the Fannie and Alan Leslie Center for the Humanities.

"To have a home here for the humanities is long, long overdue and so appreciated," Dean of the Faculty Carol Folt said. "[The Haldeman Center] is the perfect building at the perfect time."

The two buildings are located between the Phi Tau coed fraternity and the Baker-Berry Library.

The Haldeman Center was named for the parents of Charles Haldeman '70, who were unable to attend college due to financial reasons, and Kemeny Hall was named after John Kemeny, a math professor and the 13th president of the College. Kemeny Hall's construction was made possible through a $1 million grant by the Kresge Foundation.

Faculty and alumni attended the openings of the two buildings, and members of Sigma Phi Epilson fraternity attended the Haldeman Center opening in support of Haldeman, who was Sig Ep's president from 1969 to 1970.

"I think it is a very inviting area," said James Young '70, who was also a Sig Ep member in Haldeman's year and who flew to Hanover from his Bay Area residence in California to support the building's opening.

The buildings were originally slated to open at the start of Fall term but were completed after their deadline.

"The tenured faculty was supposed to be moved in before orientation and moved in during classes instead," said Bill Kitchel, project manager for the Office of Planning, Design and Construction.

Environmental friendliness ranked high on the list of considerations during the constructions of the two buildings. According to Jack Wilson, associate director of Planning, Design and Construction, the College tried to be environmentally responsible in all its major constructions, placing special emphasis on creating a healthy working environment, ensuring the durability of materials involved in the construction and paying special attention to the buildings' energy efficiency.

The College is also in the process of applying for a Leadership in Environmental Energy Design certification from the government to demonstrate that buildings are environmentally friendly and of high performance.

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