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Dartmouth Builds

The Evolving Campus

The Office of Design, Planning, and Construction held a facilities projects update in Collis Common Ground last month to share current and upcoming construction planned for the College. On display were renderings of new buildings, maps of the how the campus will look when construction is complete, and even a hands-on demonstration of the new, energy-efficient, heat-recovery drain system.

class of 53 commonsA perspective rendering of the Class of 1953 Commons dining hall (viewed from the south).

The system, which uses copper tubing to recover heat from wastewater to cheaply heat clean water, is currently installed in the Fahey, McLane, and McLaughlin residence halls, and will be installed in the soon-to-be-renovated Hitchcock and New Hampshire residence halls. Energy-saving techniques like this one are part of what allows the new construction on campus to be certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), administered by the United States Green Building Council. The heat-recovery system costs more to install, explained Woody Eckels, director of residential operations, “but in seven or eight years, the system should pay for itself in savings.”

Also on hand to talk about improvements to the campus was Cynthia Crutchfield, director of operations and facilities for athletics and recreation. Athletics is gaining a number of new facilities, including the Floren Varsity House, scheduled to open this fall, a renovated Red Rolfe Field baseball stadium, and the new Burnham Soccer field and its nearby team facility, which will be shared by the soccer and lacrosse teams. Burnham Field, surfaced with natural grass, is already in use by the soccer team and seats 1,300. 

Dining facilities at the College are also in for an overhaul, according to Associate Provost Mary Gorman. Where Thayer Dining hall currently stands, a new Thayer will go up. Although designs are still in the conceptual phase, Gorman explained that the plan currently calls for a smaller footprint, creating a less congested, more pedestrian-friendly courtyard in front of the building, but with the same capacity to seat 750 and the same variety of dining options. On the north end of campus, the Class of 1953 Commons dining hall will seat 250 and offer dining on a south-facing terrace.

Planned for the north end of campus is the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center (see related story), which will update and expand essential teaching and research laboratory space. The facility will house Dartmouth’s Department of Biological Sciences, and serve as a model of sustainable construction.

At the southern end of the campus, where Clement Hall and Brewster International House currently stand, a Visual Arts Center is planned. Although planning is in the early stages, the designers envision it as a home for the Departments of Studio Art and Film and Television Studies. The new facility will include a replacement for the Loew Theater, and free up needed space in the Hopkins Center for the music and drama departments.

Behind the care and planning that has gone into each individual new building or renovation is a set of master planning principles, explained Jack Wilson, associate director of planning. “We started with the principles of ‘preservation’ and ‘connection,’ and updated those with the ideas of ‘renewal’ and ‘change’. We want to preserve what’s good, but we also have the constant need to renew and change in response to programming needs.”


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Last Updated: 12/17/08