Our beautiful 110-acre rural campus nestled in the Western Reserve is undoubtedly one of Hiram’s prime assets. Historical buildings and modern facilities blend together to create an environment suited for collegiate learning. Like all physical plants, but especially ones dotted with 150-year-old historic homes, ours needs a good dose of TLC. Hence, Vision 20/20 aims to attract those friends and alumni who wish to invest in this critical part of the Hiram College experience. After all, stories of taking classes in the living room of Bonney Castle; working on assignments at the small tables of the Mahan House; walking down Route 700 to visit Buckingham, or finishing an all-night experiment in the Colton Labs are some of the most poignant memories our alums hold and share. As we approach 2020, we must preserve many buildings and renovate others so that future generations of students can tell their own stories with the same sense of nostalgia that lingers today. A sampling of key projects includes:
1ST FLOOR LIBRARY SPACE
In the 21st century, collegiate libraries serve a much broader purpose than providing a quiet study space that houses books, periodicals, microfilm, and archive collections. Functional libraries today serve as multipurpose facilities. Often, they are the place where students access digital resources and use multimedia platforms not only to review, but to create study materials that prepare them for midterms, final examinations, and any number of group assignments. Since information compilation, resource creation, and student faculty collaboration have taken center stage in and outside the classroom, we aim to transform the first floor of the library into a space called “The Collaborative.” This space will showcase our new and thriving Tech & Trek™ initiative, our Career Center, and the Hiram Connect Experiential program that helps students identify which high-impact activity—an internship, study-abroad trip, research project, or service-learning activity—they will choose as part of the new degree requirements. The co-location of these programs and offices will fuel the integration, social networking, and idea exchanges that mark The New Liberal Arts™. Donors and foundations love the idea, and a few of them have made inaugural gifts to get this far-reaching renovation started. This means the groundwork has been set. Now, we need implementation funds to fully actualize our plans for the library. Through Vision 20/20, we are hoping to find a donor who would serve as the primary contributor to this project. Conversely, we will entertain the identification of a lead donor who pledges to bring classmates or other alumni along to complete the plan.
COLTON/TURNER & GERSTACKER SCIENCE LABORATORIES
Hiram College has long been known for its top-notch science programs. Budding biologists and chemists attend Hiram to ground their careers in medicine, laboratory fields, teaching, and more. Colton Hall has been home to the sciences at Hiram since the 1920s, Turner Hall since the 1960s, and Gerstacker Hall was added in 1998. Despite the age difference between these three facilities, they have one common need: laboratory upgrades. We must update our science labs to meet the demands of 21st-century teaching and the expectations of 21st-century learners. A gift of this size would allow us to update floors, lighting, lab equipment, and more.
Outdoor Pickleball and Basketball Courts
One of the top concerns prospective students have voiced to our admission team is a lack of outdoor recreational spaces, specifically basketball courts. In 2017, Hiram opened three brand new tennis courts thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends. To enhance the area adjacent to those new courts, and to complete the last piece of our lower campus athletic and recreation facilities, we hope to install two pickleball courts and two basketball courts, complete with fencing and lights so that students can play outdoors after dark.
Henry Field Scoreboard
HISTORIC HOME UPGRADES
Part of the very charm of Hiram is its historical homes. Still today, they serve as homes to a variety of academic departments. Faculty offices, common areas, and intimate classroom spaces grace their halls. We seek to restore these homes to their once glorious state and to further leverage these unique learning spaces to enhance student recruitment and perhaps even garner media attention. A gift of this size enables improvements such as planking the exterior to ensure durability, porch repair, interior painting, window replacement, and more.
TREE CANOPY PRUNING
Our natural environment, including our beloved trees, are at the top of any list of “What makes Hiram beautiful.” To keep the trees healthy, beautiful, and purposeful, we must reinvest in a routine tree canopy pruning program. Wouldn’t it be gratifying to have Hiram’s campus back on Davey Tree’s list of tree destination cities? Such a designation would drive visitors, near and far, to the campus, while at the same time give all of us who live and work here one more thing to relish about Hiram.
The time has come when we must hire an architect to develop a plan and then redesign the campus green that sits between Frohring Music, Teachout-Price, and Hinsdale Halls. This central green space is under-utilized since it lacks the kinds of features that would entice community members to more frequently use the location. As our Hiram Health and Tech & Trek programs encourage faculty, staff, and students to spend more time in the great outdoors, we need to make it possible for them to study, read, and converse there. This feasibility is bolstered as we add comfortable sitting and study spaces; create attractive walkways and resting places; plant and tend flowers, bushes, and small trees. Opportunities for physical improvements to campus are plentiful. In addition to those outlined in detail above, below is a sampling of additional needs:
- Campus Master Plan
- Residence Hall Improvements
- Resurface Kennedy Center Welcome Area
- Science Classrooms (Colton 120 and 103)
- Campus Lighting
- Dining Hall Patio
- Kennedy Center to Coleman Center Walkway
- Student Organization Space Upgrades
- Kennedy Center Basement Redesign