Second Floor of Faculty Club Closed By UMass Amherst

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts has closed the second floor of the Faculty Club in Stockbridge House in compliance with an order from the state building inspector.

Currently there is only one means of egress from the second floor, which consists of two rooms. The building inspector, Louise Viera, says two exits are necessary. The second floor is used primarily as meeting space, according to Dennis Scott, Faculty Club manager.

The building inspector also requested that by Feb. 15 the University submit a proposal to address certain building code issues including the need for improved exit signage and proper emergency doors, the installation of a fire alarm system, and emergency lighting.

"Facilities planning is reviewing the code report and will respond as requested," says James Cahill, director of facilities planning.

The Faculty Club offers a restaurant, bar, and lounge, as well as meeting rooms, and recreational space in the basement, with ping pong and pool tables.

Scott says the two rooms on the second floor can accommodate 10-15 people each and the space is utilized for gatherings three to four times a week. The lounge area on the first floor will be now be used for meetings, and private dining space may also be arranged, he says.

The Faculty Club, also called the Boltwood-Stockbridge House, is a wood-frame structure located on Stockbridge Road that is actually comprised of two buildings: the Stockbridge House, which is the oldest house in Amherst, and the Homestead.

The Stockbridge House, built in 1728 by Samuel Boltwood of Hadley, was used to imprison Tory sympathizers during the Revolution, and is one of five houses originally included as part of the campus of Massachusetts Agricultural College, the forerunner of the University. The dwelling then served as the president''s house and was occupied by presidents Henry Flagg French and Levi Stockbridge. It was opened in 1934 as the Faculty Club.

The Homestead, built in 1731, was originally located near the present site of the Lederle Graduate Research Center, and was moved to its current location adjoining the Stockbridge House in 1972.