Stitzer Welcome Center
Based on our campus master plan, Springfield College decided to move its Admissions Center into an historic and iconic building, Judd Gymnasium, now the Stitzer Welcome Center.
The gym was the first building erected in 1894 on land purchased by the YMCA Training School, now Springfield College, along Lake Massasoit. The inventor of basketball, James Naismith, once taught classes on the game and coached the school’s team here. While the school basks in this illustrious history, it needed to convey that its present human science programs are leading the field.
The master plan moved the admissions offices from the campus perimeter to its center, thereby introducing visitors to an iconic central quadrangle on their way in. While the building itself is redolent with history, its sandstone cut and shaped in an arts and crafts style, our renovations celebrated the best of the existing building fabric and selectively focused on the more notable details.
A new lecture room for prospective families is in the gym where volleyball was renamed from ‘mintonette’ after its creation in nearby Holyoke, another historic distinction. We exposed old steel trusses, installed glass lighting and repaneled the room with narrow-boarded wood alternating with absorptive slots, a modern, functional recall of old gym bead-board. This supports a cutting-edge audio-video system. The historic atmosphere and remarkable acoustics reminds everyone of a storied past while clearly communicating the college’s groundbreaking present and future.