When students return to campus in the Fall they will be greeted by several improvements to campus. Most evident will be the renovations of Comstock Hall. Over the summer, the basement in Comstock Hall will be renovated to include additional residential space in order for more students to be able to live in the historic all women’s residence hall.
“This is an exciting change for students living on the Hill and the entire HWS community,” commented Cerri Banks, Dean of William Smith College. “The renovated space will create a fresh environment where the women of William Smith College can live, study, and create friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Upon entering Comstock from the Odell’s pond side of the building, students will walk through a large formal entryway into a space similar to the one upstairs where smaller events can be held. Off of the entry space, there will be several small clusters of double bedrooms that will share a common bathroom.
The renovations will allow 28 additional William Smith students to reside in the residence hall and students will be able to select the new rooms when they choose housing this spring. In addition to the 14 new rooms, there will be a lounge, study room, kitchenette, housing for the Hill Area Coordinator and laundry facilities.
In planning the renovations great care and attention was taken to ensure that “the character of Comstock Hall continued to be present in the redesigned space and that sustainable design was used in the planning and is a part of the construction standards and practices,” said Brandon Barile, director of housing.
Comstock Hall was designed in the Gothic style of architecture by architect Hobart Upjohn and was named after Ann B. Comstock, the first female trustee of Hobart College. Comstock was a close friend of William Smith and she had a great influence on his creation of the new college for women. The building was constructed in 1932 and has served as a residence hall for the students of William Smith College.
Currently, Comstock houses 77 William Smith students and is part of “The Hill.” The space being renovated was originally the dining hall for the women of William Smith established by three then Hobart students. It was one of three dining halls on campus run by the Saga Corporation. The space was no longer used as a dining hall following the renovations of Saga in the Scandling Campus Center which created an area for all students to dine together. Over the past several years the space has been used as a banquet facility and has hosted William Smith Dean’s events.
“I am happy to see this historical William Smith space remain at the center of the women’s experiences at the Colleges and eagerly anticipate the ways their energy will bring life to this location” remarked Banks.