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David Saul Smith Union

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David Saul Smith Union

The David Saul Smith Union is a 1995 renovation, originally built in 1912 as the General Thomas Worcester Hyde Athletic Building.

Fitness Center

Student Activities Office

Bowdoin Bookstore

Mail Center

Polar Express


David Saul Smith Union

Smith Union is one of the primary centers of student life here on campus. Mailboxes, Morrell Lounge, the campus bookstore, as well as the Game Room, Polar Express convenience store, the Café, and Jack Magee's Pub and Grill are located in the Union. In addition to regular full meals, each student receives $100 worth of “Polar-Points” each semester with which they can purchase food and drinks from any of these locations. Morrell Lounge is equipped with big comfy chairs, couches, and tables for informal activities for students as well as larger events, like dances and performances. The Union is also another wireless Internet hot spot on campus, enabling students to study on all three levels.

Sargent Gym: This gym is located upstairs, and houses our forty foot climbing wall, as well as dance studio space. This is a multi-purpose gym used by a variety of clubs, activities, and intramural sports.

The Peter Buck Center for Health and Fitness includes a free-weight fitness facility with rowing machines on the lower level, a cardiovascular fitness center with weight machines on the ground floor and an interior climbing wall.

Environmental/Recycling Features: An extremely “green” or environmentally sound building which far exceeds regulatory codes in terms of recycled materials, energy efficiency, and usage of healthful materials. The paneling of the actual bar in the Pub is made up of the old track boards; cleat marks are visible, including those of our own Joan Benoit Samuelson '79. Although natural light was used wherever possible, too many skylights are, in fact, environmentally unsound as they let out a great deal of heat. Even the choice to use an existing structure rather than creating a brand new building is part of the "recycling" effort. Bowdoin is now committed to building LEED certified buildings and renovates its building with sustainable building features. Each first year dorm has an eco- rep. There are many recycling programs on campus and opportunities for students to become involved with environmental issues.

The Yellow Wall: The wood used in the yellow wall is all "particle board" made of wood chips and fragments. In addition to being inexpensive and environmentally sound, the effect of the texture and color was intended to simulate a sense of fall foliage. It was also designed to reflect the light from the eastern skylights off the yellow to create a sunnier atmosphere.

LaMarche Lounge: The LaMarche Lounge (big glassed in space/annex under the yellow wall) is intended for informal meetings, performances, poetry readings, art displays, exhibits and other assorted functions.

The Sun Seal: The seal was created by a water jet cutting technique, which involves cutting with jets of water containing minuscule metal particles. It is the largest linoleum seal created in this fashion in the country, and has won several awards. It was featured in The New York Times. The star in the seal is due north.

The Ground Floor Lounge Area: The green slat paneling lining the lounge area was meant to be an abstraction of the Bowdoin Pines. The green area on top of it can be seen as foliage and its curving design was also intended to suggest an undulating ocean/coastal theme.

Time Capsule: The head of the stairs in the corner from the ground floor to the television lounge contains a time capsule. It was inserted during the Bicentennial celebration and will be unearthed at the tricentennial in 2094. It contains, among other things, a Bowdoin Orient, course catalogue, bicentennial wine, and other assorted items.

The Wallpaper: Designed by Bowdoin students in an art class, the wallpaper was created in response to the student surveys that suggested plants and foliage. The finished product was a collaborative effort between several students and faculty, but was painted by Maine artist Toni Wolfe. There are polar bears incorporated into the design. The overall effect, along with the floral upholstery of the couches throughout the building, was intended to humanize what might otherwise be a very angular, impersonal space, and to create a homey, warm environment. The colors were selected by the building designer, who was given complete freedom in this area. The blues, pinks and reds are intended to balance out the strong yellow wall in a primary color theme.

The Old Cage: Throughout the building, attempts were made to retain some of the interesting features of the old Hyde Cage. Original mile markers have been left on the wall by the door to the Sargent corridor and elsewhere; the original track time clock is in the pub, and as previously noted, the pub bar is lined with boards from the old track.

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