People, Place, Programming—and Great Food and Coffee.
Evolving community at Mount Holyoke College
When Mount Holyoke College undertook the Facilities Master Plan Study in 2014 to stay at the forefront of educational excellence in the twenty-first century, it did so with the goal of reviewing current physical space to make recommendations that would help build community on campus. First among the study’s eight recommendations was to explore building a community center with dining.
Since then, the College has worked with architectural and interior design firm Bergmeyer Associates, Inc., and countless members of the Mount Holyoke community to develop a comprehensive proposal for a reimagined Community Center. The proposed project was conceived within the context of Mount Holyoke’s institutional strategic plan, time-honored traditions, unique historical attributes, and need to address changing expectations of today’s students.
The Mount Holyoke community is a residential one, with engaged and dynamic students who are active at all times of the day and night. Continuous student interaction, whether face-to-face or online, accelerates the development of networks, facilitates friendships and the forming of groups, reinforces existing ties, and creates a sense not only of excitement but also of belonging.
At Mount Holyoke, time and space are used flexibly, and students congregate according to motivation and opportunity. Entering Mount Holyoke means more than just enrolling in courses and pursuing a degree—it means participating in a vibrant community.
The College’s goal in building a community center with dining is to create a space in which manifold forms of interaction combine—a space of endeavor, of exchange, of intellectual and social excitement. A space where the casual meets the programmatic and where student services are delivered alongside food and drink.