Rowers, sailors, donors, and community members will join Washington College President Kurt Landgraf and other dignitaries on Sept. 22 to dedicate Hodson Boathouse, the first bright new gem on the College’s evolving waterfront on the Chester River.
The event at 444 South Cross Street, Chestertown, begins at 11:30 a.m. and is open to the public, with a light reception to follow.
In celebrating the opening of the new boathouse, Landgraf will be joined by representatives of The Hodson Trust, which donated $2.5 million to the project; Regis de Ramel ’97, a member of the College’s Board of Visitors and Governors and crew team alumnus, who made a $1 million gift; donor Ann Horner ’80, also of the Board of Visitors and Governors; Athletics Director Thad Moore; and Alex Kincaid ’19, captain of the men’s rowing team.
After the dedication, Moore and others will christen a new Resolute rowing shell for the women’s rowing team in honor of former women’s team Coach Mike Davenport. This will bring to three the number of Resolute varsity shells for the growing women’s team.
Support for the $5 million Hodson Boathouse, which broke ground last fall, came from more than 150 donors, including former team members and other alumni. Located next to the Lelia Hynson Pavilion, the new boathouse is 9,200 square feet, about 3,600 square feet feet of which comprises a wraparound deck that offers expansive views for events and regattas.
The building houses locker rooms for the rowing and sailing teams, bathrooms, two offices, a team lounge, a 35-seat classroom, and an ergonomics training room with 32 stationary rowing machines. A state-of-the-art tank room with a 16-station, 25-by-54-foot rowing tank enables rowing team members to perfect their sweep technique and practice when the weather is too cold or inclement for on-the-water training.
With environmental sustainability at the forefront, Hodson Boathouse is heated and cooled by an energy-efficient geothermal well system, lighting is entirely LED, and the deck is made of recycled plastic. As noted by the building’s designer, the architecture and engineering firm HGA, “Water is one of the most important elements of the site for the College because of the focus on the Chester River as an area of study; therefore, water usage and protection of the watershed through rain gardens and shoreline mitigation plantings were identified early on as primary concerns for project performance. The project is designed for resiliency in the face of rising sea levels and changes to the watershed by raising the building up on piers.”
In addition to the rowing and sailing teams, the new boathouse will be a gathering place for the Chester River Rowing Club, a group of master racers and recreational rowers, and a focal point for community waterfront events, among them the 12th Annual Cardboard Boat Race & Waterfront Festival, hosted by the Center for the Environment & Society, which will follow the dedication, from 1 – 4 p.m.
Parking is available in the Wilmer Park parking lot and in the Chestertown Municipal lot on the 200 block of Cannon Street. A shuttle service will also be running from the front of the College’s Casey Academic Center starting at 11 a.m.
Please RSVP to https://bit.ly/HodsonBoathouse and fill out the form. For more information call 410-778-7849.
About Washington College
Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.