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Hampden-Sydney College
The Alphabets Dormitories

In the 1980’s a major expansion of the campus involved the construction of five residence halls, a student forum, and a faculty house at the north end of the campus. The style of the buildings, designed by Philip M. Chu Associate Architects, was described as follows: “In order to harmonize with the campus’s legendary architecture, the new residence houses will be built of brick with Federal detailing and proportions, while remaining modern in their feeling and usefulness…” This vision was more adeptly executed at the Forum and the B and C Alphabet dormitories.

The Alphabets are the most remote buildings on campus outside of the athletic facilities. They include five separate buildings all built of a robust construction with masonry walls, concrete plank floors and slate roofs. As part of the updated H-SC Residence Hall Master Plan, MCWB assessed the buildings and proposed design solutions for their on-going use, starting with a baseline scope of work for them to be refreshed addressing interior finishes and reconfiguring spaces at the direction of the College.


Following the completion of the updated Master Plan, MCWB developed the previously proposed options to improve these five buildings in terms of space utilization, comfort, safety, and in general to modernize them. Since then, the buildings have been undergoing renovations. The renovations include reconfiguring bathrooms, redesigning suites to create more student dorm rooms and a lounge space; creating new dorm room closets; refreshing all interior finishes like flooring and paint; as well as upgrading the lighting, electrical, mechanical and sprinkler systems. As of August 2023, the renovation project is nearing completion.

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