Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff Members,
I hope you are enjoying a pleasant and restorative summer. I look forward to seeing you all on campus soon as we begin a new academic year together.
I’m writing to you today to share an update on the various, ongoing construction projects on campus. As I informed you in May, these projects are part of a large-scale campus renewal program designed to help modernize our facilities, fulfill our commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2035, and ensure that our buildings and infrastructure effectively support our exceptional liberal arts educational experience.
While we have made significant progress on this work, I am writing to you now, before the start of the semester, to let you know that the campus looks quite different than it did in May. Candidly, if you haven’t been on campus recently, it may feel disconcerting to see the active construction zones, and it may take a little time to get used to the various pathway closures, temporary fences, and other inconveniences.
The information below provides an overview of the work and the ways it will affect movement through campus this fall. Our campus construction highlights web page includes more information on key projects. You will also observe signs at key locations that will help members of our community navigate campus more easily. I encourage you to visit the College’s online campus map for an overview of current construction areas as well as accessible paths through campus.
Construction projects are inevitably disruptive, but we continue to make significant progress in improving the living and learning spaces on our campus. Thank you in advance for your flexibility and patience during this important period of transformation.
To Zero By Thirty-Five
To Zero By Thirty-Five (or 20X35), our bold and visionary path to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035, is well underway. We recently reached a major milestone in the project: We’ve completed the drilling of the hundreds of geoexchange wells in Mertz Lawn. We are now working to connect the wells through underground piping to the geoexchange plant that will be housed in the basement of the Dining Center. Mertz Lawn will remain fenced through spring 2024 to allow this work to continue and the lawn to be reseeded and fully restored.
Work continues on Sharples Commons, which will become a dynamic and flexible space for meeting and socializing. The facility will include dedicated student meeting, storage, and lounge space, and offer students, faculty, and staff a range of indoor and outdoor programmable areas. Most recently, we’ve completed work on the east courtyard and opened accessible pathways connecting the Dining Center to south campus. We expect to open Sharples Commons in the spring, at which point the entire Dining and Community Commons building will be open and offer a reimagined social and dining experience for our community. We are planning events to celebrate the opening of Sharples Commons and the completion of the Dinning and Community Commons, and we’ll share more on that later this semester.
Parrish Hall Construction
Work to connect Parrish to the geoexchange system, including construction north, south, and east of Parrish, will continue through January. This work also replaces much of the existing underground utilities surrounding Parrish Hall, some of which are more than a century old. While the Rose Garden remains open during this time, the Rose Garden Circle and Parrish’s accessible entrance on that side of the building will remain closed. The accessible entrance on the north side of Parrish remains open.
As a result, certain programs and services for the start of the fall semester will be moved to Clothier Circle, including drop-off for first-year students arriving on Aug. 29, Garnet Shuttle pick-up and drop-off, and move-in meet-ups. Please be aware that there may be some intermittent, short-term interruptions to traffic on Clothier Circle to support the ongoing construction on the lawn between Clothier Hall and Parrish Hall. This work will continue through mid-October, after which we will work to reestablish the lawn in time for Commencement and Alumni Weekend.
The majority of work inside Parrish to improve student residential areas has been completed, including the installation of central air conditioning in the balance of student rooms, energy-efficiency upgrades, and the renovation of bathrooms on the third and fourth floors.
Martin Hall Renovations
Set to open by Fall 2025, we are transforming Martin into an interdisciplinary technological hub for all of campus. The renovated space will house the departments of Computer Science and Film and Media Studies, as well as the Media Center, and include a black box theater, screening room, editing suites, and an outdoor arts plaza connecting Martin to the Lang Performing Arts Center (LPAC) and Lang Music Building.
To support the work on Martin Hall, a temporary construction road has been installed across the north quad by Singer Hall. Infrequent truck traffic will be coordinated with class schedules to avoid interrupting pedestrian traffic as much as possible, and flaggers will accompany trucks whenever they cross the quad. This path is meant for construction traffic only; please do not use it as a pedestrian walkway. This road will be in place through summer 2025.
Lang Music Building Access
The work on Martin has increased traffic at Lang Music Circle, which will remain closed to pedestrians (vehicles can now access the circle). To access Lang Music Building, you will need to walk through LPAC.
The final phase of façade repairs to McCabe will be completed by mid-September.
Façade repair and window replacement work on Old Tarble will be substantially complete by September, with minimal work continuing through the fall.
Trotter Hall and Lawn
To facilitate the transportation of materials for the work in and around Parrish and Trotter, a temporary construction road was installed across Trotter Lawn this summer. This road will be in place through January 2024, with the lawn and pathway restored in the spring.
Work has also begun on connecting Trotter Hall to the geoexchange system. Trotter’s west accessible entrance and north entrance will remain open, but the south entrance and east accessible entrance to the building will be closed.
Worth, Bond, and Lodges Courtyard
The initial phase of renovations to Worth Hall, including roofing repairs, masonry repairs, and window replacement, will be completed by Aug. 29, better insulating the space and making it a more comfortable residential experience for students. Though both buildings are open, work on Bond Hall and the Lodges will continue through October. To support this work, Worth Courtyard will remain closed through Fall Break.
Parking on Campus
We appreciate your patience with the reductions in campus parking this summer. Parking at Lang Music Building, Roberts Hall, and Wharton Hall will be restored by Friday, Aug. 25, and there is increased capacity in several other campus lots, including:
- Benjamin West parking lot remains reduced to 50% capacity through October. Additional parking is available at the Cunningham Fields North lot to accommodate visitors.
- Du Pont parking lot has been restored to 50% capacity.
- West Field House Lane has been restored to 80% capacity.