After more than a year of waiting for faculty and students at Hud- son’s Western Reserve Academy — which recently was named the top boarding school in Ohio by Niche — the school year opens with the newly renovated 43,458-square-foot Seymour Hall.
The $14 million project, funded by parent donors and alumni, took 14 months to complete.
“It was clear this building resonated with our alumni,” says Mark LaFontaine, assistant head of school for advancement. “This was where all their classes were when they were students. This building really represents the best that this school has to offer. Our alumni is deeply committed to preserving this place.”
The 102-year-old building has 29 classrooms with state-of-the-art technology.
Thomas Arnold, CFO, says the building is energy efficient with the installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system and LED lighting in the classrooms.
“As we renovate spaces, we do try to keep up with technology, safety and security,“ Arnold says.
While school officials wanted to provide students with the comforts of a modern facility, the integrity of the historic 102-year-old building remains. According to WRA, “Seymour’s old soul remains in elements like the center staircase, originally constructed in 1915.”
Prominently keeping with the building’s historic features are new mahogany windows that provide natural light in the classroom.
“They were redesigned in keeping the historic tradition of this space and what is Hudson, Ohio,” Arnold says. “It’s very important to us as we renovated our campus building, that we stay true to our roots in this campus and community. We worked hard to look for vendors to keep the traditional look — a true divided-light window.”
Nupar Malhotra, of Solon, a senior at WRA and student counsel co-president, was speechless when seeing the new renovations.
“This is beyond my expectations,” she says, remembering the building before the changes, including a lack of air conditioning. “Every room has its own style and uniqueness. Everything here has its own purpose. I am excited to go to each to see what is special about each one.”