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About the Collis Center Renovation Project

I’m writing to update you on the renovation of the Collis Center slated to begin at the end of the fall term.  As the student center, Collis plays an integral role in supporting student life at Dartmouth.  From grabbing a quick meal in the ever-popular Collis Café to attending a student organization meeting, the Collis Center is the cornerstone of campus life and over 1.5 million people visit the Center each year.

Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, we have been working with groups of students, architects, and campus constituents to facilitate upgrades that will maximize and update spaces in the Collis Center for the needs of current students.  This is an exciting opportunity and I'm pleased to detail the changes below.

  • Expansion of the Collis Café.  The Collis Café is one of the busiest dining locations on campus and is a hallmark of the Center.  This project will expand the Café to the east wall—almost doubling the size of the current servery.  We will install new tables and furnishings to maximize space, so though the café size is increased, not one seat will be lost.
  • Installation of year-round climate control.  The Collis Center is in heavy demand all year, but it does not have air conditioning that would allow for its maximum use during warmer months.  Additionally, the heating system is very antiquated.  This project will install air conditioning and a new heating system that will keep the building comfortable all year.  
  • Updated FUEL space.  We have heard from many students that FUEL could be better utilized—especially now with the opening of the Sarner Underground space that replicates some of the current uses of FUEL.  This project will update the space as a gaming room.  Pool tables, pinball machines, comfortable furniture, and televisions will be installed to make the room more compelling as a social space.  It will join One Wheelock and the Collis Market as important spaces in the basement of Collis.
  • Movie/Game Lounge.  Room 14 (currently 8 Ball Hall) will be updated as a movie room and electronic gaming room.
  • The TV Lounge will be renovated to be more comfortable and useful as a TV room and dining location.  
  • Student Organization Area.  In the final phase of the project, student governance organizations will relocate to the 3rd floor of Collis.  This area  will have improved work and computing areas for student organizations and bring student governance organizations that have been spread throughout Robinson and Collis into one location.

In order to facilitate all of these projects as quickly as possible, Collis services will be limited during the renovation.   Starting right after fall term, on November 19, the following changes will occur:  

  • The Collis Café will reopen for the winter term serving out of Collis 101.  Collis Common Ground will serve as the dining location.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night hours will continue as they are now.  The Café will continue to serve out of 101 until the renovated Café is completed.  The Collis Center staff with other campus partners will work with those who host events in Common Ground to help find alternate locations.
  • One Wheelock and the Collis Market will remain open as much as possible during the renovation, but the construction schedule will impact these spaces.  Programming will be limited at times.
  • The Collis Information Desk and hours of the building will remain as they are now.
  • Offices on the 2nd and 3rd floors of Collis will be relocated for the duration of the project.  Meeting rooms will be closed.  More announcements regarding office locations will be made later, once finalized. 
  • Areas of Collis will be brought back "on-line" as they are completed in the spring term.

This is an ambitious project for a very important building at Dartmouth.  The renovations we have planned will greatly advance student social space, but they will require some patience and sacrifice as we navigate the project this winter and spring.  We will be updating information about the project and the location of offices at

It is our shared goal to continue the reputation of the Collis Center as one of the best, student-oriented places at Dartmouth.   If you would like to participate in this process, please consider joining Collis Governing Board or contact me directly.


Eric Ramsey
Director, Charles A. Collis '37 Student Center
Dartmouth College

Last Updated: 11/28/12