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Schoo-Bemis Science Center (RG 140)

This photograph depicts the front entrance and steps to Springfield College's Clarence and Grace Schoo Friendship Hall, known today as the Schoo-Bemis Science Center.

Schoo-Bemis Science Center

By 1959, under the leadership of Springfield College president Glen Olds, a new science building became the top priority of the campus building program. Estimated cost of the building was put at $350,000 to $400,000. Architectural plans proposed laboratories and demonstration classrooms for chemistry and physics. Additional normal classrooms and offices completed the plans.

Funding for the new facility was provided in large part by Clarence J. Schoo, founder of General Fibre Box Co. of West Springfield. Construction began in early fall of 1960 and was completed in September of 1961. The building was the largest single construction project at Springfield College in recent history. Monson & Mallis Architects of Springfield designed the facility. A. R. Green Contractors of Holyoke was the General Contractor of the projects. Though the building was in continued use since it was completed in September of 1961, it actually was not formally dedicated until October 26, 1963 as the Clarence and Grace Schoo Friendship Hall.

Under the leadership of President Flynn, “Leadership for the 21st Century: the $40 million campaign for Springfield College was launched in the spring of 2005. It is through this campaign that the money was raised for the 5 million dollar renovation that in a way combined old Bemis Hall, now Hickory Hall, with Schoo Hall, creating a modern, state-of-the-art Science Center housing the disciplines of Math, Chemistry, Physics and Biology. Renovations started in May of 2006 and were completed in January of 2007 when the building, now named the Schoo-Bemis Science Center, was opened to students. An official dedication was conducted on September 26, 2007.

Note: for more information on Bemis Hall, now Hickory Hall, see RG125 – Hickory Hall Records

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection documents the Schoo-Bemis Science Center from its construction and original name of the Clarence and Grace Schoo Friendship Hall, to its 2006-2007 renovations and change in name to the Schoo-Bemis Science Center. Included in the collection is biographical information on Clarence and Grace Schoo; copies of floor plans, including draft blueprints & 3 architectural sketches (sketches include outside, a lab and an announcement for a June 11, 2005 Project Preview presentation) from the renovations done in 2006-2007 renovations; invitation and pictures from the October 23, dedication; programs and a DVD from the joint dedication of Hickory Hall and the Schoo-Bemis Science Center held in 2007 for renovations and renaming of the buildings; Architectural sketches done by Munson and Mallis in 1960 and a large sketch done by Tai Soo Kim in the mid 1990’s of proposed designs of the building; and exterior photographs. Also included is the Clarence and Grace Schoo Friendship Hall dedication Plaque. Plaque measures 36” x 24” High. Made of Bronze, the plaque says, “Clarence and Grace Schoo Friendship Hall / “For the education of the whole man in the service of all men” / This building made possible by the generous gift of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence J. Schoo / Consummating gifts from Alumni, Trustees, Corporations, Foundations, and Friends of Springfield College / Dedicated, October 26, 1963.”