Westfield State University – Davis + Dickinson hall renovations 2019 winner of Boston society of architects accessibility

Stegman+Associates has been involved with Residential Life at Westfield State University since 1988 when Principal Janet Stegman, as a senior staff in another firm, designed a 420 bed residence hall for the school. In subsequent years Stegman+Associates has worked on Market Demand & Feasibility Studies (with Anderson Strickler LLC) that have lead to the construction of two new residence halls. As a component of a 2010 Feasibility Study S+A modeled the entire residential system to assure that the program for a new hall matched the developmental model supported by Residential Life. One outcome of that modeling was the conceptual design for renovations to Davis and Dickinson Halls.

Davis and Dickinson Halls were constructed in the mid-1960s. Designed around five individual entry cores, the buildings had staggered floor levels and bathrooms located at circulation cores between towers, preventing easy access from tower to tower. The renovation plans are phased with Phase 1 involving the relocation of community bathrooms from circulation zones (creating student common areas in the process) and Phase 2 comprising additions of exterior elevators and lounge space to make each building partially accessible and provide better floor commons.

Phase 1 of the Davis Hall Renovations was completed in the summer of 2014 over a 12-week construction schedule. The project was bid and completed for $6,200,00. Phase 1 of Dickinson Hall was completed in the summer of 2015. Phase 2 for each hall is slated for subsequent summers.

Student feedback has been very positive. On a recent survey, one student said “I absolutely love the renovations. The bathrooms are my favorite part because they are so clean and they remind me of a hotel bathroom. I feel very comfortable getting ready in the morning in the bathroom because of how clean and beautiful it is.”