Renovations Highlight Changes to Hilltop Ahead of Fall Semester

August 17, 2022

By Jason Kolnos

The Hilltop is always evolving in exciting ways. When students, faculty and staff return to campus after summer break, they’ll surely notice lots of new changes. Let’s take a spin around to learn more about the renovations, which were organized and executed by various departments here on campus.

Davison Hall

The place where most people go for delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner just got a major makeover. Davison Hall’s serving area went through a complete transformation. All of the fixtures were replaced with new ones to give the space a high-end look and a wood-finished floor was installed which retains the traditional New England feel.

Students will likely be most excited about new food concept stations that will join familiar ones, like the global cuisine-inspired “Fusion” and “Clarity,” which offers menu selections free of major allergens.

Joining them this year will be “Homestyles” that will feature classic comfort food dishes as well as “Smoke & Fire.” Combining elements from the Met Grill,

“Smoke & Fire” is one of the most significant additions, according to Saint Anselm Dining Services Director Esther Reed. It will have in-house smoked meat sandwich specials. The chef will be facing students behind a glass divider with a whole line of new cooking equipment, and students will also still be able to order omelets there.

“With our new equipment, we are able to move scratch cooking and preparation to the front of the house. Students will get to see our culinarians at work and get to interact with them.” Reed said.

At the deli, a rotisserie oven was brought in behind the counter with meats and vegetables rotating throughout the day. The salad bar will be one big unit that can be accessed from both sides and a custom-built cabinet will house all the desserts. Students can also look forward to a separate toaster for gluten-free items next to the “Clarity” station.

Reed said her team worked with Saint Anselm community members to ensure the renovations at Davison maintained the traditional feel while allowing them to operate more efficiently with up-to-date equipment.

Davison Hall will be open with the beginning of the new academic year.


Saint Anselm Athletics

Saint Anselm student-athletes will see numerous improvements at many of the college’s athletics facilities to benefit their pursuit of conference, regional and NCAA championships. To accommodate a growing student population on campus, brand-new locker rooms have been constructed and the existing spaces will be enhanced for most programs.

For the first time, the artificial turf surface was replaced at Grappone Stadium, the home of Hawks football, field hockey, and both lacrosse teams. Featuring a brand-new design with the most recent athletics logos, the facility is preparing to host the 2023 NCAA Division II Field Hockey National Championship.

With thanks to a generous donor, brand-new covered benches have been purchased for Melucci Field, benefitting the men’s and women’s soccer teams. Additionally, the tennis courts at the South Athletic Fields complex have been resurfaced, providing championship-caliber playing conditions for the women’s tennis team and members of the college community.

Sound system upgrades are scheduled to be made to Melucci Field, the South Athletic Field (softball) and Sullivan Arena (ice hockey). In the latter’s case, the facility’s original equipment is being replaced with state-of-the-art technology that will create additional opportunities for the arena’s use.

The design phase has also started in the project to build a new track and field facility on campus, which will feature an eight-lane track and synthetic turf field. Men’s and women’s track and field will become the latest varsity sports offered on the Hilltop, beginning with the 2023-2024 academic year.

“As soon as our student-athletes head home for the summer, the work to prepare for next season and beyond begins immediately,” said Director of Athletics Daron Montgomery. “With the help of many on-and-off campus partners, Saint Anselm is able to continually improve upon the experience that it delivers to its student-athletes and fans.”


Additional campus improvements and construction

The most visible action over the next year will be seen right behind Alumni Hall. Construction begins at the end of August to transform the current print shop building into the future home of the Gregory J. Grappone '04 Humanities Institute. The print shop is moving to the lower level of Alumni Hall.

Physical Plant Director Jonathan Woodcock said there will be plenty of signage to ensure everyone’s safety because Alumni’s courtyard area will be “bustling with contractors and construction throughout the year.”

Father Bernard Court is getting its second phase of renovations— 26 apartment-style units will have new floors, furniture, kitchens and appliances.

New exterior security cameras will be installed this year, including those mounted to blue light poles. This will highlight an already robust camera network, and offer a more well-rounded safety system for the campus, Woodcock said.

Chief Information Officer Steven McDevitt spearheaded several IT-related improvements — including adding two large new projectors which will provide a crisper image on the screen in the New Hampshire Institute of Politics’ auditorium.

They’ve also installed better audio and video equipment in the Dana Center classroom 1D and worked to simplify the technology in the college’s 28 streaming classrooms to make it easier for faculty to use.

Looking ahead, Woodcock said they are always planning for the future, including selecting designers for the brand-new nursing facility and getting prepared for renovations in the lower level of Alumni Hall for the Education department, expected to be done next summer.

“It is always gratifying to see the impact our changes to campus make for the greater good. We are always looking for positive ways that we can impact the campus,” Woodcock said.

Director of Athletic Communications Griffin Spencer contributed to this article.

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