Mount Holyoke College to Break Ground for Expansion and Renovation of Art and Science Buildings

Monday, March 26, 2001 - 12:00

For immediate release
March 26, 2001

The new unified science center will meet the high standards for sustainable technologies and practices set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - Mount Holyoke College will break ground Saturday, March 31, on two ambitious renovation and construction projects that represent a $40.6 million investment in education in the sciences and the arts.

Ground will be broken at 10 a.m. at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, which will gain 3,700 square feet of gallery space and a total of 22,000 square feet of renovated space. At 2 p.m., ground will be broken on the lawn in front of Carr Laboratories, one of four buildings that will be incorporated into a unified science center containing 116,000 square feet of new and renovated space. Computer-created "tours" of the completed buildings will be offered after each ground breaking.

Participating in the festivities will be President Joanne V. Creighton; Board of Trustees chair Eleanor Graham Claus, a 1955 alumna of the college; and other distinguished guests. Funding for the projects is provided primarily through the Campaign for Mount Holyoke College 1998-2003, a comprehensive fund-raising campaign, which has set a goal of raising $200 million.

The major component of the science center project is a multistory, 38,000-square-foot building that will connect the Clapp, Shattuck, Cleveland and Carr buildings and serve as the nexus of the center, encouraging greater integration of the sciences. It will feature a 3,000-square-foot, three-story atrium that will provide a gathering place for all members of the community and benefit the entire campus. The project, broken into phases, is to be completed by the summer of 2003, at a total project cost of $34.5 million. The building will meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards as established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), as stipulated under a $10 million donation toward the project, the single largest gift in the college's history. Green building designation means that the project will have met high standards on a wide variety of measures in using sustainable technologies and practices.

The completed science center will provide up-to-date teaching and research labs, classrooms, and offices to meet the departmental needs of the biological sciences, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, and computer science. Through the center, the college will continue its historic leadership in scientific education for women. Between one quarter and one third of the college's students major in science or mathematics, double the proportion of their counterparts at similar, coeducational institutions.

The Art Building will gain new classrooms, studio space, and advanced imaging, design and research technology, as well as expanded gallery space for the Art Museum. New construction and renovation will allow the museum to display works from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as modern and contemporary art, that has remained in storage for the past decade because of limited gallery space. A study to be used primarily for teaching will also be provided. The Art Building project is to be completed by the fall of 2001, at a cost of $6.1 million.

The college recently celebrated the completion of renovations to Pratt Hall, the music building, at a cost of $6.2 million.

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