Academics

Academic Center

A Place for Teaching and Learning

Westminster’s spectacular 85,000-square-foot Armour Academic Center opened in fall 2009 and includes a humanities wing and a math and science wing, surrounding a centrally located glass atrium. The four-level, LEED gold certified building boasts small class sizes that encourage student interaction, state-of-the-art technology, abundant informal meeting spaces, and large windows that capture natural light and breathtaking views of the Farmington Valley.
 
Armour embodies the four core values of Westminster – community, character, balance and involvement – because it provides formal and informal spaces for discussion, relaxation and learning, as well as state-of-the-art technology and materials to ensure the highest level of teaching and learning. At any time of day, you can find students doing research or working through problem sets in the Cole Library, clustered in a study room, hanging out and eating snacks in the Atrium, or quietly reading next to the fireplace in Gund Room. Armour provides resources, including a sixteen-seat planetarium, lecture hall and impressive labs, to enable students and faculty to explore science, math and the humanities in brightly-lit spaces specially designed for teaching and learning. Armour brings the community together by encouraging engagement with academics and each other.
 

State-of-the-Art Technology

Every classroom in the center offers state-of-the-art educational technology to enhance teaching and learning. Tools such as sophisticated interactive whiteboards, multimedia players and advanced sound systems make it possible for Westminster teachers to bring global information into their classrooms at the touch of a fingertip and to share and save work instantaneously.
 
While most students bring a laptop computer to school, desktop computers are available for individual work or group instruction in the computer lab and Cole Library. The library also offers a classroom with a full audiovisual package.
 

Cole Library

From the Teen Collection, devoted to teen reading and coming-of-age information, to the rigorous research projects that are integrated into the curriculum, Westminster’s Cole Library serves its students and faculty with focus and flexibility. Carefully selected non-fiction books and online resources, together with our interlibrary loan service, facilitate research and learning.
 
A diverse selection of titles, ranging from classic to contemporary works, supports reading for pleasure, and frequently refreshed topical displays keep students abreast of current issues and alert them to new and appealing materials. The librarians, with campus organizations and the community at large to promote library services and library-sponsored special events. Our three experienced librarians, Mrs. Johri, Mrs. Griffith and Mrs. Stevens, welcome suggestions, requests, questions and opportunities to support students in their efforts.
 

Art Galleries 

The Baxter Gallery, adjoining Armstrong Atrium in the Armour Academic Center, showcases the school's permanent collection of paintings, prints and sculpture dating from the late 19th to the early 21st century. The collection includes work created by Westminster alumni, former faculty, and internationally-known artists that was generously donated to the school by Westminster alumni and their families. Every spring, the gallery is transformed into exhibition space for the annual Alumni Art Exhibit, showcasing the work of several alumni artists. 
 
Students of all levels display their work in a variety of visible spaces on campus, including the intimate Hamilton Art Gallery and the Chapel Gallery which features several student and faculty exhibits each year.

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  • Leading-Edge Green Design

    Armour Academic Center was awarded LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.  It achieved gold certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as for incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. It is one of the first facilities to use a geothermal heat exchange system on a large-scale basis.
    The green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community include:
    • A geothermal heat exchange system with 72 wells that are 500 feet deep is estimated to save about $20,000 per year in fuel costs and to pay for itself within five years. The building is expected to exceed the latest energy codes on energy consumption by an estimated 33 percent.
    • Ninety percent of the spaces occupied by students and teachers have direct views to the outdoors, an environmental improvement that has been shown to increase productivity.
    • The ventilation system provides fresh air that exceeds code requirements and creates a healthier learning environment.
    • High-efficiency mechanical systems, increased insulation, smart glazing and efficient lighting design will save about 37 percent in energy costs.
    • Water-efficient plumbing fixtures will cut water usage by 40 percent compared to a conventional building and provide an annual savings of 155,000 gallons of water.
    • The irrigation system will reduce water consumption by 50 percent and provide an annual savings of 1 million gallons of water.
    In addition, the center has low gas-emitting paint, adhesives and carpets; building materials with a recycled content that averages 20 percent; built-in recycling bins; accommodations for bicycles; and preferred parking for fuel-efficient and car pool vehicles. Seventy-five percent of the waste generated by the project was recycled.

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995 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, Connecticut 06070

P. (860) 408-3000
F. (860) 408 3001
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