Princeton Weekly Bulletin   September 16, 2007, Vol. 97, No. 1   prev   next   current

Construction focuses on science facilities, Butler College

By Eric Quiñones

Princeton NJ — The launch of the new four-year residential college system (see story on page 1) marks the completion of one of the largest construction projects in Princeton history, Whitman College, and moves the focus of campus construction onto two new major science facilities and the rebuilding of Butler College.

Whitman, the 250,000-square-foot Collegiate Gothic complex between Dillon Gymnasium and Baker Rink, opened this month after three years of intense construction work. The Whitman construction was accompanied by several projects in other dormitories as part of the rollout of the new residential college system, which is intended to better serve students and to provide them with more options in various aspects of residential life.

The next major project deadline on the horizon is the Frank Gehry-designed Lewis Library, which will house various science collections and is due to be completed in August 2008. A short walk down Washington Road, work on another significant addition to Princeton’s science facilities, the new chemistry building, began this summer with the demolition of the Armory on the site south of Jadwin Hall. The chemistry building is due to open in fall 2010.

Meanwhile, work on the final phase of the new residential college system is continuing with the conversion of Butler College from a two-year to a four-year college (joining Whitman and Mathey). The demolition of five Butler dormitories began in June and was completed this month. Construction of new dormitories to replace them will be finished by fall 2009.

Here is a rundown of these and other construction projects, provided by Anne St. Mauro, director of the Office of Design and Construction:

Lewis Library

Most of the work to enclose Lewis Library was finished this summer and will be completed this fall. Interior work will be done during the academic year. The building, which incorporates architect Frank Gehry’s signature curved shapes, is due to be completed in August 2008. (photo: Denise Applewhite)

Lewis Library — Most of the work to enclose the building, which is located at the corner of Washington Road and Ivy Lane, was finished over the summer. The rest will be completed this fall, along with testing to make sure the building is weather-tight. Interior work will be done over the course of the academic year, including completing the installation of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems and moving furniture, books and other materials into the library.

Construction of the 87,000-square-foot library — distinguished by Gehry’s signature bold, curved shapes and a structure of glass and steel — began in 2004. The facility will house the biology, chemistry, geosciences, mathematics, physics and statistics collections, the map collection and the digital map and geospatial information center.

Chemistry building — The Armory was demolished over the course of nearly two months beginning in July to clear the site for the four-story chemistry building, which will encompass between 240,000 and 250,000 gross square feet. Prior to demolition, storage spaces for several University departments, offices and student activities were relocated from the Armory to various locations on and off campus.

Excavation for the chemistry building begins this fall and will run through December. Work on the building’s concrete and steel foundation will take place through the spring. The building, designed by Hopkins Architects of London in collaboration with Payette Associates of Boston, will be a state-of-the-art facility constructed with “green building” technologies and will feature a skylit atrium. The building will be clad primarily in glass and stone panels set in a structural framework.

During construction, alternate paths have been designated for pedestrians crossing to or from Lot 21, Jadwin Gymnasium, Caldwell Fieldhouse or other locations east of the chemistry building site. Parking assignments at Lot 15 at the Armory have been shifted to Lot 21.

Butler College — The demolition at Butler included Lourie-Love, 1922, 1940, 1941 and 1942 halls, which were all built in 1964. Excavation and foundation work on the new buildings to replace them was set to begin in mid-September and will continue throughout the academic year.

Wu Hall and 1915 Hall, which also are part of Butler, remain standing. Butler will remain a two-year college until the new buildings are completed over the next two years. During construction, Butler residents will be housed in 1915, Bloomberg and Cuyler halls and will continue to take meals in Wu.

The Butler dorms being demolished contained either singles or one-room doubles. A majority of the rooms in the new buildings will be suites, with two bedrooms, a common area and a bath. The new dorms will comprise slightly more gross square footage — 112,000 compared to 100,000 — and will house fewer students — 289 compared to 375.

The buildings will have two, three and four stories, and will be constructed of a warm-color brick to harmonize with Wu, 1915 and Bloomberg halls with horizontal bands of limestone accenting the design.

The project includes a strong focus on sustainability. All but 400 of the 9,000 tons of material produced by the demolition will be re-used or recycled. More than half of new dorms will have “green roofs,” which involves covering the roof with a waterproofing membrane topped by soil and vegetation to reduce heating and cooling loads and decrease stormwater runoff.

Other projects completed over the summer or continuing this year include:

Stanhope Hall — The Center for African American Studies moved into the historic building on the front campus earlier this month after some nine months of renovations. The building, which formerly housed the Department of Public Safety, will now serve as both an academic office and a classroom building, with faculty and staff offices, a multipurpose room and a seminar room.

Renovations at Stanhope included new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, restored windows and repairs to the roof and chimney. The project also addressed accessibility issues with the addition of an elevator, an entrance ramp to the lower level and new bathroom facilities.

New engineering building — Foundation work progressed this summer on a new building to house the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering and the Center for Information Technology Policy. The 46,000-square-foot, four-story building, located between Mudd Library and Wallace Hall, is scheduled to be completed in August 2008. Construction of the steel structure should begin in October. Exterior work is expected to be completed by April, followed by interior finishing work.

Other residential colleges — In addition to the completion of Whitman, renovations were finished this summer in Forbes College and Madison, Buyers, Witherspoon, Campbell, Little, Edwards, Joline and Blair halls to enhance the social and programming spaces in the residential colleges and to make room for graduate students. In Edwards Hall, the conversion of a mailroom into lounge space should be completed by the end of September.

The work in the residential colleges also included redesigns of dining halls to create more intimate eating spaces and support a new “marketplace,” or cook-to-order, menu format.

Frist Campus Center — As part of the new residential college system, all undergraduates now will have a single address for individual mailboxes in Frist for all four years, rather than starting with mailboxes in their residential colleges. The installation of additional mailboxes was completed this summer, and work on a new package delivery room will be completed by the spring semester. A temporary package room is located in Dillon Court East, south of Dillon Gym, this fall.

Renovations elsewhere on the 100 level have been made to create room for the mailboxes. The University Store branch in Frist has closed, and the convenience “C” Store will move to the space occupied by the Healthy Eating Lab by November. An ice cream and coffee bar will open in place of the “C” Store by February. Foods previously sold in the Healthy Eating Lab will be available in the A-level Frist Food Gallery.

Jadwin Hall — Renovations began this summer on the fourth floor of Jadwin to provide offices, seminar rooms and other space for the Center for Theoretical Physics. New windows have been cut into the walls to offer more natural light, and interior work is expected to begin by mid-October. The project is expected to be completed by April.

McCormick and Wallace halls — Work began this summer to improve the building seal on McCormick and to repair limestone on Wallace. The work on Wallace is expected to be completed before winter, while a projected end date for the McCormick project has not been set.

Roberts Stadium — Foundation work began this spring for a new state-of-the-art soccer stadium for the men’s and women’s teams. The new facility, on the south end of campus west of Washington Road, is scheduled to open in fall 2008.

Lake Carnegie boathouse — Crews worked this summer to repair damage to paneling, doors, electrical outlets and the rowing tank in the boathouse due to severe storms in April. The work was expected to be finished by the middle of this month.

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