Farewell Old Office

As I sit at my desk today, I can hear, faintly, the sound of hammers clashing with wood. These subtle echoes are a gentle, persistent reminder that progress and change is coming to campus. While the majority of the work to occur through the Cornerstone Capital Campaign is a renovation of the May Stone Building, most of the work completed to date centers around the demolition of the former Fireside Industries Cabin, known coloquially as the “old office.”

I know many people have strong connections to this building and the important work that has occurred within its ivy-lined walls, but, as we look ahead to the future, this facility simply did not provide adequate meeting space in its current form and feasibility assessments on renovating the structure revealed that path to be cost prohibitive. As a result, the structure will be removed and the Gathering Place will rise in its former footprint. This new facility, which will incorporate elements of the original structure, will include a meeting space, reading room/lounge, kitchenette, and a large outdoor patio complete with fire pit and the DAR Conservation Garden.

Let’s check in on the progress…

Crews brace the old office chimney as they prepare to demo the existing structure. The Gathering Place will include logs original to the old office and the historic chimney.
Drainage pipes and gravel now fill the “swimming pool” outside the old office. These pipes will run under the forthcoming patio and fire pit areas and route water from the mountainside to Troublesome Creek.
Crews began by removing portions of the roof. The entire structure will be removed by the end of September.
Heavy fire-proof cabinets are hoisted out of the archives room. Even with the contents removed, each cabinet weighs nearly 300 pounds!
The renovated May Stone Building will include expanded archive storage space along with a research suite.

Moving forward together!