BOC finds a new home
The Outing Club has moved from its old headquarters upstairs in Smith Union to a state-of-the-art building of their own at the junction of College Street and Harpswell Road. The new building houses all of its equipment, formerly stored in the basements of Appleton Hall and Burnett House, and it is also now cataloged in a database built by CIS programmer Ron Kay. The Schwartz Outdoor Leadership Center also features a library/map room, a kitchen, and offices for director Mike Woodruff, assistant director Stacy Kirschner, and student officers. The building also contains trip lockers, bathrooms, and a huge central hall with a fireplace, in which the Outing Club prepared for its annual pre-orientation trips in late August under the watchful eyes of a gigantic moose head.
"The most obvious improvement is the efficiency in getting trips out in the field," said Woodruff. "We were really a day ahead in our preparation for pre-orientation."
The Schwartz Outdoor Leadership Center cost 1.25 million dollars. Construction started last November and the building opened in June. Planning started in December 1998. Associate Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster chaired a committee including Emily Hinman, Rich Mrazik, and Jeremy Morse '99, Kim Christensen '97, and Megan Hayes and Allie Binkowski '03.
"Dean Foster's perseverance and guidance was instrumental
in the successful completion of the project," said Woodruff.
"We're lucky that we have alumni such as Steve Schwartz who recognize the value of outdoor pursuits within the context of a liberal arts education and who possess the vision and generosity to make this facility a reality," Woodruff said.
The OLC was built with "green construction" in
mind. Windows were placed to take maximum advantage of natural light to
reduce energy usage. The building has no air conditioning, it is naturally
ventilated. Radiant floor heat and efficient glazing in the windows are
other green features.
"The moose was actually shot about 30 years ago in Alaska, while [my dad] was on a hunting trip there. Until now it had been in my grandparents' home in Concord, MA. I told Mike Woodruff I could get a moose in the new building for more of a Maine feel. If you visit any of the old hunting and fishing camps in the state, they always have a few deer and moose on the wall," said Jones.
The moose is joined by a stuffed animal polar bear in paddling gear that looks down on the room from the inflatable raft in the rafters. Additionally, Ivan Spear '44 has donated two pairs of snowshoes from Labrador, which he brought back from one of Donald MacMillan's expeditions that he went on, and a caribou skin kayak from the same trip, which will be on permanent loan from the Worcester Academy. The snowshoes and kayak will be on display in the OLC soon.
The new building also provides a space where the Outing Club can host speakers, receptions, classes, and seminars. The Outing Club's first speaker of the year will be Alex Laden, who soloed the Inside Passage from Alaska to Seattle. She will speak on September 19 at 7 p.m. in the OLC. The building will be dedicated on October 18 when Jill Fredsten, an avalanche expert who has rowed over 25,000 miles inside the Arctic Circle, comes to speak. On November 6, the OLC will host Tom Mailhot, who rowed across the Atlantic, and the Chewonki Foundation will hold ecology and natural history seminars in the building on November 9. In addition, on November 14, Fal de Saint Phalle, Bowdoin Class of 1968, who walked across the United States, will speak.
Woodruff, Bowdoin Class of 1987, said the opening of the OLC, the BOC's first building of its own, has been the biggest leap forward for the Outing Club since the hiring of Lentz in 1984. Before, the club was completely student-run and was erratic in popularity.