Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Colleges/Universities New York



300 Pulteney Street
Geneva, New York 14456

Phone: (315) 781-3000

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are located on the shores of picturesque Seneca Lake the largest of the Finger Lakes. The 170 acre campuses are joined by two hills on the outskirts of Geneva New York. The Colleges offer the majority of students the opportunity to live on campus and a small percentage to live in off campus housing.

CAIRD HALL  Is a newly built red brick four story student residence / dormitory. At the front of Caird Hall is a very steep incline/decline depending on entering/exiting, that could cause problems. The main door entrance is clearly labeled but there are no powered doors or blue colored International signs for handicapped specification. The first floor offers an extremely useful elevator which will bring you to floors 1 through 4. Located on the first level are a kitchen, laundry, fitness center, lounge which are all adequately accessible. On the third floor there is one designated universally accessible room. The major issue is that no bathroom is connected to this room. Down the hallway some fifteen feet is the entrance / exit to a restroom that is clearly marked with the international handicapped symbol (including braille). On entering the restroom everything from the mirror, washbasin, toilet, and grab bars demonstrate exemplary accessibility. A major problem is that no private shower or bathing facility is included. On three of the four floors you will find restrooms that offer showering facilities that are accessible with very sufficient strong shower benches but no overhead shower wands (not private). Moving through Caird Hall on two of the floors are green recycling areas that are very easy to enter and exit.           0399 0400 0459 0406 0413 0422 0424 0429 0432 0441 0779 0782 0783 0785 0454 0416 0447               

DE CORDOVA HALL, a four story student residence / dormitory, is located perpendicular to Card Hall. De CorDova Hall has a very similar layout and features as Caird Hall. One major exception is that the front of the building has a simple flat grade with almost no pitch, which makes for a level smooth entrance and exit. A major red flag is the lack of any form of push button doorway controls. Moving from De Cordova Hall down the hill towards the center of campus are other obstacles on the sidewalk, such as several steps which could make navigation treacherous. There are no consistent paved sidewalks or concrete ramps interconnecting this part of campus to the next, leaving the pedestrian with lack of accessibility.

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BRISTOL GYM is accessible via the rear entrance through automated doors, clearly stated international blue handicapped access signs, with even grade concrete footing that is extremely navigable. In Bristol Gym the open panoramic layout allows for very adequate access. The water fountain offers two different drinking heights, the toilet is at a reasonably accessible height, and there are two grab bars within acceptable distance. The major problem is trying to get from Bristol Gym down the hill towards the center of campus. You will face the obstacle of a large curb with no curb cuts or have to navigate a steep grassy grade (this is doable but not recommend via wheelchair). 0471 0483 0485 0487 0489 0491

STERN HALL is located very close to the center of campus on a very even grade. From the rear there is an accessible ramp, but this entrance / exit lacks any push button automated doors. Entering the doors, you will immediately come to a stairwell. If you use the front entrance  there is a well designed grade with a concrete ramp and push button automated doors.

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SMITH HALL  is located to the left of Stern Hall some thirty yards. At the front entrance there is a concrete ramp with metal railing for easy access. The front door has a push button automated door which is clearly labeled with the international handicapped sign. Inside the front door there is an elevator opposite the steps. At the back of Smith Hall are two handicapped accessible parking spaces that are clearly marked. There is no accessible access via the back entrance / exit.   0504 0505 0507 0508

ANDREW DUNSMORE HUBBS CENTER / INFIRMARY has a very convenient front entrance with a smooth, level concrete walkway. To the right of the entrance is a standing control box for the automated door, colored blue with the international handicapped sign. The interior of Hubbs is a bit tight but the offices / rooms can be navigated very easily. One major issue could be travel from the four way intersection on the sidewalk some seventy five yards from Hubbs Health Center. The problem consists of old worn-out curb cuts, and no curb cut at one side.

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SHERRILL HALL is a co-ed residence / dormitory with three floors located near the center of campus. At the front entrance of Sharell Hall there are massive concrete pavers which make for level access leading to eight steps and the front door. To the right of the steps a small lift can be used to get from the concrete paver to the main level and into the residence. A yellow call box is located at the front entrance. An accessible bedroom is located directly beyond the foyer. The accessible bedroom is extremely large and offers a very roomy open design. The bedroom is connected to a well-planned, fully accessible bathroom. The height of the sink is friendly, allowing the patron to easily navigate his/her way underneath and side to side. The bathing facility has a wide roll-in shower with three extremely strong grab bars, at a well defined level. There are easy to turn fixtures for hot and cold water. An overhead shower faucet is offered and also an extended shower wand. The toilet is at an acceptable height to maneuver from and around. At a  reasonable distance from the toilet there are two long sturdy grab bars for one’s safety. In conclusion the bathroom offers sufficient space for a wheelchair user to maneuver 360’ degrees.


  • Doorway to Accessible Room Height 36”
  • Lift / Elevator Inside Door Height 36”
  • Bathroom Doorway Height 35”
  • Sink Height 32”
  • Shower Handrail / Grab Bar 34 ½”
  • Toilet Height 14”
  • Toilet Handrail / Grab Bar 34”

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BOOK STORE is not accessible via the front and main entrance because you encounter a large flight of stairs. You are able to move around in the bookstore without any obstruction. A major problem is that there is no elevator to get from the first floor to the second floor or basement. However you can go around to the side / back of the building and enter / exit the basement door, which is not automated.

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ROSENBERG HALL/NAPIER which consists of many different classrooms is located at the center of campus. At the entrance of Rosenberg / Napier Hall there is a very smooth consistant brick surface that flows to two doors which are not automated. Through these doors you will find easy to navigate hard floor surfaces. Very close to the entrance / exit is an elevator that will bring you to the second floor. The bathrooms on the first floor are clearly marked with blue international signs. The height of the two sinks from floor to base allow for plenty of room to move freely. The toilet is at a sensible height and within reasonable reach of three grab bars. Most of the classrooms are easy to access and the seating can be moved very easily.


  • Toilet Height 18 ½”
  • Sink Height 36”
  • Handrail / Grab Bar Height 32 ½”

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ALBRIGHT AUDITORIUM can be accessed through the interior of Rosenberg/Napier Hall or through a main outdoor entrance / exit which is extremely smooth concrete with no steps. (if you decide to access from the interior there are four steps, but next to them is a small lift that will bring you up or down) Next you will see the international blue handicapped sign marking the automation box for two push button doors. Inside, your first left will lead you into the auditorium. The auditorium has a level surface at the front and deep back end. There is also a small cut-out of two seats that will allow for handicapped seating. The pitch moving from the front to the back of the auditorium floor is not overwhelming to navigate.

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GULICK HALL located at the center of campus, consists of the registrar’s office and classrooms  on both first and second floors. At the entrance to Gulick Hall is a smooth step-free level access area. To the right of the entrance is the international blue handicapped sign marking the automation box for two push button doors. Through the doors there are stairs to the second level on the right and another set of doors clearly marked with a blue automated push button box to open them. Down the hall is an elevator to the second floor. Halfway down the hallway are two water fountains at different, manageable heights. Two signs show the entrances to mens / womens bathrooms. There are no push button automated doors for the bathroom, but they are relatively easy to open. The bathroom has three different sinks at a reasonable height allowing for easy access and plenty of room to maneuver underneath. These four sinks do have two different fixtures that make them easier to turn on and off. The toilet height is acceptable with two grab bars within reasonable reaching distance and at a well defined height.


  • Toilet Height 39”
  • Sink Height 35 ½”
  • Grab Bar Height 32 ½”

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CELLAR PUB The cellar Pub is not accessible because of the large set of concrete steps leading into the basement entrance.

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COXE HALL is located at the heart of the campus, which consists of numerous classrooms. At the exterior of Cox Hall on the left side entrance / exit is a concrete ramp (very reasonable slope) with a metal handrail . On the right front side of Cox Hall is an easy sloped metal ramp with a sturdy metal handrail. In between these ramps there are smooth level concrete pavers that lead you from one side of the building to the other. The doors at both of the access points are not automated and do not have any international blue signs.

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DEMAREST is located at the center of campus off the green. Out front are concrete pavers that slope upward around the building. Certain parts of the walkway around Demarest have metal railings on either side of the concrete. The main entrance / exit has several steps and no push button automated doors or international blue signs. You can reach the rear entrance via smooth concrete pavers. The rear entrance / exit does not have an automated door or any clearly marked signs. This backdoor is relatively easy to open and the interior of the building is quite simple to navigate. There is an elevator with clearly marked signs that will take you to the second floor and a small library.  

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MERRITT HALL is located at the top of the green on a small hill. The back entrance / exit is accessible via concrete pavers with a slight up / down pitch. Before getting to the back door there are sturdy metal handrails on either side of six steps. (you do not have to use the steps, there is a concrete ramp to the door) An automated push button door with blue international signs is present. At the other end of Merritt Hall is an entrance / exit consisting of six circular steps with several strong handrails and a smooth concrete walkway.There is easy access from the road to both entrances / exits.

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DURFEE HOUSE 639 South Main Street is a dorm / residence overlooking Lake Geneva. Leading from the sidewalk to Durfee House is a significantly wide concrete paver. The slope and flow of the entrance is excellent and on the right side of the concrete walkway is a sturdy metal handrail. There are easy to attain parking spots located at the front of Durfee House.

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ADMISSIONS/HOBART AND WILLIAM SMITH COLLEGES – 20 Seneca Street: is easy to access off a main road overlooking Seneca Lake. Leading to the front entrance are exceptionally smooth new concrete pavers with a level surface. There are concrete pavers in-front of a side entrance and eventually a handrail on the right side. Neither the front or side doors have automated push buttons or international blue signs.

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TITLE IX PROGRAMS & COMPLIANCE OFFICE – SENECA ROOM ANNEX is a new building with handicapped parking accessible off a main road. The building is surrounded by new, level concrete pavers leading to the front door. The front entrance / exit has a automated push button door and international blue handicapped signs. A concrete paver with a long sturdy handrail flows around to the back entrance of the building named the SENECA ROOM. This entrance / exit has a automated push button door.

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FINGER LAKES INSTITUTE is located off a main road and has handicapped parking near by. Leading to the front entrance door are large level concrete pavers. There are two options: either take five steps with a sturdy handrail or use an extremely well designed ramp. This ramp has a  smooth concrete surface with a friendly incline / decline. There are also strong metal handrails straddling the ramp. The front door entrance has no automated push button doors or international handicapped signs.

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CAMPUS SAFETY/BUILDINGS & GROUND is located at the back parking entrance off the green. At the front entrance are two designated blue international handicapped parking signs. The asphalt is smooth and level which flows to the front door allowing for easy access. There are no automated doors.

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SCANDLING CENTER/SAGA DINING CENTER/POST OFFICE  is very close to the heart of campus. At the face of the building are four pathways made from smooth concrete leading to the front entrance / exit. Upon entering the front door there is a concrete ramp + handrailing, which has a smooth surface and a moderate slope.  At the front door entrance / exit are three doors, with the right door automated by a push button. There are clearly marked blue internation signs and the incline / decline is reasonable and simple to navigate. In the Scandling Center are two water fountains at different heights. The men’s and women’s restrooms are clearly marked with the international handicapped sign. The doors to the restrooms are not automated. There are four sinks at reasonable heights inside the restrooms (underneath and top) with easy to turn faucets. The toilet is at a well defined height, with two sturdy grab bars on either side at a reasonable height and distance. A sufficient amount of space is offered in the restroom to maneuvered. The food court and dining hall are all very well laid out and easy to navigate. Other areas such as the Post Office are reasonably accessible. The back entrance / exit door to the Scandling Center does not have automated push buttons.

0696 0704 0702 0698 0701 0706 0707 0712 0709 0708 0711 0714 0716 0713 0727 0736 WARREN HUNTING SMITH LIBRARY is not accessible via the front entrance due to seven steps. Following large smooth, somewhat level concrete pavers around the side/back of the building you will find push button, automated doors with clearly marked blue international handicapped signs. The interior of the library is easy to navigate although some of the doors are not consistent in size, making them more difficult to open. There is an elevator that will bring you to your desired floor. (The bathrooms were not open for service the day of review)

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ROBERT A. BRISTOL FIELD HOUSE is situated on a level grade. At the entrance to the front parking lot there are four designated handicapped parking spaces. Surrounding the parking spaces are tarmac pathways which lead across two curb cuts and to the front + side entrances. The surfaces of both front and side entrances are level smooth concrete pavers. The side door is clearly marked with a blue International handicapped sign. This side entrance has a fully automated push button door. The entrance through the ticket office consist of new level smooth concrete pavers. Following the concrete walkway will bring you to the athletic fields and bleachers accessible via a metal ramp (reasonable pitch) flanked by sturdy metal hand rails. At the front of the bleachers is a wide viewing area.

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HOUGHTON HOUSE / ART DEPARTMENT is a large red brick building, located approximately one mile off the Hobart and William Smith main campuses. At the front entrance is a level tarmac parking area with two clearly marked designated handicapped parking spaces. At the front door you will find a fully automated push button door. Once through the door are five steps flanked by a sturdy metal handrail. To the left of the steps is a lift that will bring you to the first floor. The first floor is manageable to move around and has many offshoot classrooms that can be easily accessed. There is no elevator to access the second floor.

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GOLDSTEIN FAMILY CARRIAGE HOUSE is a brick building used by the Art Department. The front entrance consist of a level tarmac driveway leading to a concrete ramp. There are two designated handicapped parking spaces clearly marked. There is a fully automated push button door clearly marked with an international blue sign. The first floor access is reasonable to move around but there is no elevator to the second floor.  

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KATHERINE D. ELLIOTT / STUDIO ARTS CENTER is a new grey colored building located off a smooth tarmac road. There are three designated handicapped parking spaces clearly marked. Leading to to the front entrance is a smooth concrete walkway with a slight up / down pitch. The two front doors have fully automated push buttons. The interior of the building is accessible throughout.   

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Overall we rate Hobart and William Smith Colleges, with 5 of 10 points.


Overall we would rate Hobart and William Smith Colleges, with 5 of 10 points.


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