Skanska is providing preconstruction and construction management services for the expansion and renovation of Hamilton Smith Hall on the campus of the University of New Hampshire. This academic teaching building for English, Philosophy and the Humanities creates a unique, interactive environment for student engagement and learning. The front portion of the existing building will be carefully rehabilitated, retaining its historical character. The rehabilitation will also include the restoration of two 1938 murals located within the building. The lecture halls will feature the restored murals from the Work Progress Administration, a program instituted in the 1930’s that put millions of men and women to work. The rear portion of the building will be demolished and replaced with a larger addition. The project will increase classroom seating and provide two TEAL (technology enabled active learning) labs. These classrooms will feature a design made to encourage group work instead of the traditional lecture hall.
A pedestrian bridge will also be constructed to connect the addition to the campus pathways. The historic Hamilton Smith Hall sits atop a steeply sloped ravine; the addition provides a bridge across the ravine and allows students to navigate easily between the academic core of campus and the center of student life.
The new addition will feature two new wings. In addition to providing a state-of-the-art classroom endowment, the new construction is arranged around a “colloquium” space at the central axis of the complex. This space is a focal point for literary exploration and study and engages the department with general campus population. Seen the as the heart or “hearth” of the building, this space opens to a courtyard formed by the addition and provides visual and physical connection to all floors of the building.