Smith College is an independent, private, and highly selective college that educates women of promise for lives of distinction and purpose. One of the historic Seven Sisters Colleges, Smith College was founded in 1871 and opened officially in 1875 with 14 students. Today, it is among the largest women’s colleges in the United States, with about 2,600 students. The suburban campus sits on 147 acres and, unlike many other schools, does not feature dormitories, but rather 37 separate houses that range from Gothic to Modern in style and accommodate between 10 and 100 students each. Smith College offers 11 varsity sports along with extensive intramural and club sport programs. The College is located about two hours from Boston and three hours from New York City. It is a part of the Five Colleges Consortium, a nonprofit education corporation promoting the broad educational and cultural objectives of its member institutions: Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts—Amherst. The campuses are linked by a free bus service.
Northampton, Massachusetts, nicknamed “Paradise City,” boasts rich cultural, artistic, academic, and business assets. The city rests in the Pioneer Valley and is bordered on the east side by the Connecticut River. Originally chartered as the town of Nonotuck in 1654, Northampton was incorporated as a city in 1884. Calvin Coolidge acted as Mayor before being elected to the presidency in 1927. Many other famous personalities have called Northampton home including Sojourner Truth, Amelia Earhart, Sylvia Plath, and Alexander Graham Bell.
Arts and culture are essential to the identity and charm of Northampton. Housed in the largely intact 19th century architecture of the cultural district are galleries, music stores, breweries, coffee shops, antique stores, restaurants, museums, and the first municipally-owned theatre in the country. The Forbes Library is the only public library in the United States to hold a presidential collection in its Calvin Coolidge Memorial Room. Accessible by highway, bus transit, and Amtrak rail service, Northampton is nearby to five institutions of higher learning and home to top-rated public high schools and vocational schools.
Carbon Neutrality / Geothermal Campus Conversion
Smith joined Second Nature (The Climate Leadership Network) by signing the “Presidents Carbon Commitment.” In doing so, Smith pledged to create a climate action plan that included “a target date for achieving carbon neutrality as soon as possible.” Smith’s Sustainability and Climate Action Management Plan (SCAMP), released in 2010, outlined various strategies and technologies to investigate to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
In December 2020, President McCartney underscored a persisting commitment by joining Smith College to the “All In” movement on climate action and a clean recovery signed by thousands of institutions, states, and countries.
Smith College broke ground in May on a bold geothermal campus energy project that will lower the college’s carbon emissions by 90 percent, allowing Smith to become carbon neutral by 2030.
The project will replace the college’s aging, fossil-fuel-fired steam heating system with a state-of-the-art, electrically powered geothermal system. This will make Smith one of only a handful of schools in the nation—and likely the first in New England—to achieve net-zero carbon emissions through the near elimination of on-campus fossil fuel combustion rather than through other means, such as carbon offsets or biofuel conversion.
Responsible for leading and managing the project planning, design, and construction needs of an extraordinary College community, the Assistant Vice President of Capital Projects directs capital improvement, which includes new building construction, facility and grounds renovations, and implementing space planning recommendations. The role mentors and manages an experienced and committed project team and effectively communicates with internal and external customers to complete project assignments. The position develops and manages the capital construction and project management budgets and prepares project financial reports.
Duties and Responsibilities
Project Management Administration:
Directs and manages a multi-disciplinary team in the development of plans, goals, objectives, timelines, policies, and procedures for completion of projects.
Plans and design renovation and construction projects, develops initial project scope and budget. Determines timelines for various phases of the project, reviews plans and specifications, makes recommendations for improving engineering details and construction feasibility.
Reviews construction progress with project managers, modifies schedule or plan as required, and provides guidance as needed.
Provides project cost estimates and coordinates value engineering exercises with supported customers to maintain program, time frame, and budget.
Works collaboratively with other groups in the Facilities team, such as Capital Planning, Sustainability, and Operations and Maintenance, balancing design, budget, and schedule
considerations to ensure capital projects continue to support the campus’s aesthetic features and enhance its sustainability and result in new facilities / spaces that are highly maintainable.
Develops and implements communication strategies to promote broad awareness of construction projects; limits and / or mitigates impact to Smith communities.
Directs advertisement, bid and contract preparation, and assists in the selection of architects, engineers, consultants, and other project design professionals.
Directs and coordinates the work of architects, consultants, engineers, and contractors, ensuring that all work conforms to plans, specifications, and contracts.
Acts as the college’s representative and coordinates project activities with government regulatory boards or agencies; coordinates intra and inter departmental matters, necessary to expedite the projects; facilitates and troubleshoots problems associated with design, implementation, and completion of projects.
Responsible for the negotiation / administration of contracts with members of the design team, contractors, and consultants on projects.
Supervises construction schedule with campus departments and notifies stakeholders of any interruptions of services during the construction process.
Prepares required reports and maintains appropriate filing system. Performs related duties as assigned.
Promotes a culture of innovation for project delivery methods, approaches to contracts, and advances in technology that support design, construction, and sustainability.
Budget & Financial Management:
Prepares, maintains, reviews, and oversees detailed budgets for all costs on projects, to insure the consideration of all related expenses and completion of work within approved financial limits.
Approves and processes contractors’ requests for periodic payments for labor and materials.
Responsible for developing and training project managers in the operation of project management systems and financial reporting.
Oversees cost estimating and coordinates value engineering exercises with supported customers.
Supervisory / Leadership:
Supervises, schedules, assigns, and reviews project manager work. Coordinates selection of project staff; evaluates performance and provides ongoing feedback to staff regarding performance.
Liaises with counterparts at other educational institutions, businesses, government, and the community to promote collaboration and information exchange regarding design and construction best practices.
Collaborates with senior academic and administrative leadership to support Smith’s mission and cultivates and sustains cooperative working relationships with local, county, and state agencies.
Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, preferably architecture, civil engineering, or construction engineering and management; plus seven to ten years of progressively responsible experience in construction and project management; and supervision responsibilities.
Must have experience and working knowledge of all federal, state, and local building and construction code requirements.
Smith College is conducting a national search with the assistance of Helbling & Associates (www.helblingsearch.com), an executive search firm specializing in areas of facilities management, construction, engineering, and real estate development. Smith College seeks to attract individuals who are committed to the mission of providing the highest quality education to women. The college employs a diverse group of people who bring different talents, perspectives, and experiences to the school’s community. Female candidates, and candidates of historically under-represented groups, are strongly encouraged to apply.
Smith College is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or veteran status in the recruitment and admission of students, the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations.
Helbling & Associates was founded by industry veteran Tom Helbling on the value of his strong relationships with construction contractors and real estate developers. Our network expanded as our clients began referring us to their colleagues outside of those sectors. Today, we serve architecture, engineering, construction, and real estate development firms, as well as entities that have significant real estate assets and facilities management needs.