Impact 150: Making progress on renovation, connection

This story appears in the June 2024 GēDUNK

After four seasons of demolition and construction, the Rockwell Hall Renovation project is right on schedule. The mild winter worked to the College’s advantage, with construction continuing further into the winter months than anticipated. The wet spring brought a few challenges to the foundation work but did not hamper progress significantly.

The demolition process took the interior of Rockwell down to the main structure, except for the roof. This spring, the ductwork and electrical runs were installed, and insulation was completed. Drywall has been hung and the interior masonry is nearly finished. The south stairs have been removed in preparation for the new elevator.

Restoration has been as important as renovation in the approach to the project. Every name scrawled inside the tower over many decades has been preserved. The Foucault Pendulum was carefully removed and will be reinstalled as the showpiece of the new connector’s lobby. The facade of Rockwell is being professionally restored, as is the gorgeous stained glass from the tower. The clock will be getting a new electronic mechanism, though the clock’s exterior face and hands will remain original. Much care has gone into modernizing the building while maintaining its treasured history.

Some of that history was revealed over the course of demolition. Some Depression-era construction techniques were uncovered, as it was common in the 1930s to see substitutions for some materials being made due to shortages. An interesting historical discovery was made when McClintic-Marshall Corp joist tags were found. McClintic-Marshall was a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel, the company that built the Golden Gate Bridge.

The brand new “connector” that will create one contiguous building out of Rockwell and STEM Hall now has its foundation walls in place. The first stage of the connector’s floor has been poured, and the erection of the steel supports began at the end of May 2024. Many more project milestones are planned for the second year of the project, including completion of the connector, interior paint, flooring, carpentry, and furniture in Rockwell, and all the finishing touches on the exterior like a new clay tile roof, walkways, landscaping, and lighting.

When completed, the new building will be dedicated in the fall of 2025 as the Smith Hall of Science and Technology, named for Bill ’69 and Dieva Smith, who have come alongside the College with a significant gift toward the building’s transformation.

To be a part of the exciting future of this iconic building, and the strides being made here at Grove City College in STEM education, consider giving today at

Impact 150: Making progress on renovation, connection

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