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Stetson Hall will be attached to a new library on the Williams campus.

Williams Preps For Sawyer Library Project

Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Sawyer Library will be razed and rebuilt in the spring.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — After a two-year delay, Williams College is preparing to build a new library this spring. Williams College Board of Trustees voted in October to proceed and preparation has begun.

"Work will start in late spring. There will be some prep work. Work on the buildings could begin in June," James Kolesar, assistant to the president of public affairs, said on Tuesday.

The project, part of the $128 million Stetson-Sawyer project, includes razing the current Sawyer Library and rebuilding it on a renovated Stetson Hall. The current Sawyer location will be left for green space between the Paresky Student Center and two office and classroom buildings that have been built as part of the project.

Originally planned to open in summer 2011, the estimated $80 million project was delayed by the trustees in 2008, when constructed was expected to begin. The new library is now expected to open in 2014. According to a letter from President Adam Falk, the project was put on hold because of the recession but with recent support more than half the total cost has been raised, triggering his recommendation to proceed.

The new library will become the campus's main library and host information technology services, meeting and classroom areas, a cafe and computer labs. It will also host the campus archives and Chapin Library of Rare Books. It's projected to stand five stories and extend out from the sides of Stetson, however, architects have tried to keep it low profile compared to the other buildings.

A project to renovate Westin Field is still postponed while the college reexamines it, according to Falk's letter.

More details about the project can be found here.
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