Neilson Library, Smith College

The current Neilson Library was built in phases beginning in 1909. The original 1909 “core” of the building will be retained for its historic significance, yet remodeled and brought up to date with current infrastructure and technology. The renovation and reimagining of Neilson Library, which includes new construction and renovation of Neilson, the renovation of Alumnae Gym, site preparation and landscaping, is budgeted at approximately $100 million.

When Sophia Smith left funds in her will for the establishment of a women’s college in Northampton, she had in mind lofty goals: that “by the education of women, what are called their ‘wrongs’ will be redressed, their wages adjusted, their weight of influence in reforming the evils of society will be greatly increased, as teachers, as writers, as mothers, as members of society, their power for good will be incalculably enlarged”.

The Smith College website states “Smith has changed much since its founding in 1871. But throughout its history there have been certain enduring constants: an uncompromising defense of academic and intellectual freedom, an attention to the relation between college education and the larger public issues of world order and human dignity, and a concern for the rights and privileges of women.”

For generations since 1871, Smith alumnae from author Otelia Cromwell to poet Sylvia Plath and feminist and organizer Gloria Steinem, have continued to fulfill the college founder’s original high hopes. Through their leadership, the college has been part of tangible cultural, political and economic changes that have ushered new freedom and greater opportunity.

Smith is leading by example and helping diversify the construction industry through setting diversity goals on the Neilson Library project. We are hopeful success with this project will lead to Smith’s leadership extending to creating opportunities in diversity with all of its construction projects.

Project Timeline: Project recently began June 2018.
Women: 6.6%
Workers of color: 28.7%
Construction Manager: Shawmut Construction
Timeline: Spring 2018 – 2020