Trustees Approve $46 Million Renovations
In the official College announcement, President William G. Durden ’71 called the new additions “appropriate to a leading liberal-arts college.” Over the past decade, Dickinson College has tried to focus on global education, sustainability and academic improvement. As Durden explained in an interview, the five new expansion projects are the physical representations of the college’s growth blended with the progressive values the college was founded on. With plans to retire in 2013, Durden confirmed that this project marks one of his major goals he set to accomplish before leaving office.
By the time students return to campus for the fall 2012 semester, there will be a brand new soccer field at Dickinson Park. The new field will include a natural grass turf, new bleacher seats and a team shelter. According to the article written about the expansion project on Dickinson College’s website, both the men’s and women’s varsity soccer teams are thrilled about the project and view it as the college’s way of recognizing their hard work and success. A new greenhouse on the grounds near Kaufman Hall is also due to be completed by fall 2012. The greenhouse will enable students studying the sciences to conduct research alongside professors and complete experiments in the climate-controlled laboratory.
By fall 2013, there will be another addition to the Rector Science Complex. The new addition will reunite the biology department with the rest of the science departments. It will include over 20,000 square feet of teaching and study spaces. The Kline Center expansion and the construction of a new residence hall will take the longest. “[The Kline] has modest square footage but we’re optimizing it to the nine. The center will be a lantern on the corner of Cherry and High Street,” commented Head of Admissions Stephanie Balmer. “It will incorporate glass, wood and white to open up the space.” The expansion of the Kline Center will also improve Dickinson’s athletics program by providing athletes and students additional resources. The college plans to, alongside a café and outdoor sports court, add five regulation sized squash courts to the new sports center. The courts are to be added in preparation of Dickinson expanding its sport program to include squash. The currently unnamed new residence hall will be built next to Malcolm Hall. According to conceptual images, the residence hall will take the place of the current ROTC house. The hall will house between 114 and 120 students and will be built with the goal of joining Rector and the Admissions Building in reaching the Platinum Certification from the Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
The Dickinson community has been anticipating the expansion announcement for several months. Now that the project is official and construction is due to begin in a few short weeks, Board of Trustees Chair Jennifer Ward Reynolds ’77 believes the “energy and excitement is only going to grow.”
Though the college plans to source the designs and construction to multiple architectural firms, administrators promise that the campus’ aesthetic will remain the same. Unlike recent construction projects, explained Vice President of Student Development April Vari, efforts were made to ensure that all new buildings and additions will blend with existing campus structures.