If the hallmark of a successful renovation is that it appears as part of the original design, then the new wall at Cutler Hall is an unequivocal success.
The project involved new walkways at Cutler Hall (see top photo) a stone seating wall on the east side of Cutler Hall, a flagstone entry plaza at the east entrance to Cutler, and a flagstone-bordered walkway from Cutler to Cascade Avenue. The rhyolite stone in the wall was selected in part because it was used in the original construction of Cutler Hall. The wall “really defines our iconic building and gives it the respect it deserves,” says George Eckhardt, assistant facilities director.
Another major upgrade is the $3.5 million renovation of Mathias Hall. The renovation created open lounges in the building’s core, increasing the flexibility of common spaces; expanded the college’s Living Learning Communities (LLCs) from one to four, and incorporated sustainability measures such as low-flow water fixtures, recycled content materials, Energy Star appliances, and energy efficient lighting. The bottom photo at the right shows the new common area at Mathias Hall, in which the existing walls were removed, creating an open space with flexible seating.
Other recent renovations to campus buildings include:
- Upgrades in McGregor Hall. The installation of an elevator allows access to first floor and basement which provided the basement. Upgrades to the basement include two accessible restrooms, lighting, flooring, and ceiling. Upgrades to the first floor living area include accessible student rooms, shower, toilet, and kitchen. McGregor also underwent energy efficiency upgrades, including replacing the steam heating system in the building to hot water and converting all single pane windows to an insulated window unit.
- ADA-accessibility renovations to Montgomery Hall. A wheelchair lift was added on west side of the building. First-floor bedroom, living room, laundry, kitchen, and bathroom/shower were brought into ADA compliancy.
- Renovations to the Community Kitchen in Shove Memorial Chapel. The renovations allow for more efficient food preparation and serving. The upgrades included moving the dishwashing operation out of the kitchen and into side hallway, and adding a rinse station and stainless steel countertops and backsplash; two new freezers and two refrigerators for storing food; an under-the-counter commercial dishwasher; new slip-resistant flooring in the dishwashing and kitchen areas; and the removal of all upper cabinets and the installation of stainless steel shelving. The changes were profiled recently; see the article at: www.gazette.com/articles/colorado-105258-springs-kitchen.html
- Construction of a pergola to protect the Ritt Kellogg Jr. ’90 memorial table. The original table was built from poplar wood in 1993 on the west side of McGregor Hall, overlooking the soccer fields and Pikes Peak. However, it weathered poorly and later was replaced with a Honduran wood. To help protect the table, Jerry Switzer and Cecelia Gonzales from the facilities services department designed a protective and decorative pergola, and the CC electric shop wired it for lighting. The Kellogg family was so impressed they recently sent a $10,000 check to use for future maintenance on the table.
- Continuing Cossitt upgrades. During the summer of 2009, the anatomy lab was moved to Barnes Science Center from the west end ground level, and the spaces were remodeled into new ADA accessible restrooms and locker rooms. The final phase, completed this summer, includes conversion of two vacant offices to a single exercise/warm up area for dance students, improvements in the two west dance studios, and water, lighting, and electric service upgrades.
Homecoming weekend and my 50th Anniversary Class Reunion at CC were especially meaningful to me, in no small measure due to the hospitality showed by Mr. George Eckhardt. Mr. Eckhardt provided a private tour to a group of the Class of ’60 to view Cutler Hall and Cossit Hall. Both places are dear to my memories of time at Colorado College. Cutler Hall, was of course the office of President Benezet, and it was also where the Honor Council convened, which I chaired a year or two. Cossit was the site of pep rallies (I was a cheer leader as a freshman, which was pretty funny, actually).
The historical renovations of both buildings is nothing short of spectacular. The attention to detail of the period, and stories behind the projects are an exciting positive addition to the campus. George Eckhardt’s work is brilliant and he deserves reward for his effort and full support from the college to continue what he does there. I hope you will pass on my appreciation to him. It was obvious that he is motivated, very creative, loyal to the College and knows how and where to get appropriate materials for his work, often at a bargain price (example: stone from the USAFA). The detail of the roof and spire, as well as the interior work are worthy of the best of preservations seen in Washington D. C., Colonial Williamsburg and countless other historic sites. The difference is this: at CC people actually use the facilities.
I am sure this type of care given to our historical buildings is more valuable an asset to the image the College conveys to visitors and potential students and their parents than the dollar cost to research, design, plan and implement and maintain the work.
Please accept my sincere thank you and congratulations to Mr. Eckhardt, yourselves and everyone at CC who supports this proud effort.
Very truly yours,
William E. Peterson, ’60
1807 58th St. N. E.
Tacoma, WA 98422