With the proposed relocation of the library to a renovated and expanded Winston, the Eggleston Library building is freed for reuse. Approximately 28,000 assignable square feet (NSF) will be available to recycle for active use. Campus plan discussions focused early on the need to consolidate student services and activities on the campus; Eggleston presents an opportunity to address this need.
Further, it is the case that there is no campus center or student union building on the campus as one might find at other colleges similar in size and profile to Hampden-Sydney. That is, the College does not have a single venue that houses dining, bookstore, post office, student offices, student services, Dean of Students, etc. Drawing these activities together gives rise to synergy and a collegial spirit not achievable when activities and functions serving students are scattered. Collegiality is attained when people can come together.
Reasonably, one would not propose replacing the dining hall now well and recently accommodated in Settle Hall. A site as close by as Eggleston is to Settle is a good alternative to a single-venue campus center building. Part of the attraction of the Eggleston reuse is that it is a linkage location, lying both near Settle, where healthy young appetites are sated several times each day, and the academic facilities on the surrounding Lawns and Via Sacra. [See Campus Plan Agenda section: Landscapes.] Campus planning discussions about this site prompted many alluring design images, one such being the addition of a porch to Eggleston that would become a lingering place for students, perhaps overlooking and connecting to a new walkway between the dining hall and the proposed new location for the library. The image described is one of a gracious veranda lined with rocking chairs and supplied with national newspapers, a place where students might casually engage each other and encounter the world and current events through print.
Final resolution of which functions and offices are to occupy Eggleston will be the topic of continuing discussions, as this project must be sequenced after the construction of a new library. At this writing, nominees for building occupancy include: the Dean of Students offices, Student Government offices and meeting rooms, the Bookstore, the post office, Academic Support, Career Services, Counseling, the Moore Student Health Center, and possibly the Center for Leadership in the Public Interest, an initiative in early stages of planning.
The successful, effective renovation of the building will depend upon sufficient restructuring of the existing space to enhance a sense of orientation within the building, of knowing readily where activities and services are and seeing who is there using the space. Creation of a multi-level lobby is one design idea to enhance orientation and overview. Another architectural intervention recommended for the Eggleston recycling, particularly in view of the likely occupancy of the bookstore and post office, will be a bona fide loading dock. Handicapped access and nearby parking for short-term access to the building must be considered as well.