Connecticut College Magazine · Fall 2010

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The New New London Hall

The <i>New</i> New London Hall
Architect´s rendering of the New London Hall addition.

The College will invest more than $20 million to create a state-of-the-art building for life sciences and computer science


The theme of Connecticut College´s Centennial celebration is “Great Beginnings.” Nowhere is the tagline more relevant than behind the granite walls and oak doors of historic New London Hall. In 2011, the College will expand and transform its oldest academic building into a gleaming new science center. After an investment of more than $20 million, the new New London Hall will welcome faculty and students in fall of 2012.

Architects from Boston-based Payette are working with faculty and administrators on the final configuration in preparation for a spring groundbreaking. “Connecticut College is second to none in the quality of our science teaching and research,” President Leo I. Higdon, Jr., says. “This building will elevate our facilities to the same standard of excellence.”

The addition, extending east toward the F.W. Olin Science Center, will be designed to harmonize with the original collegiate Gothic style. The interior, however, will be transformed completely to create new teaching and research laboratories, new classrooms, collaborative computer science research labs, a modernized greenhouse, and an electron microscopy suite.

The building will be emptied during the 2011 spring semester to prepare for construction, which will be governed by the College´s green building policy. During construction, science classes and labs will be conducted in other campus facilities, including the building at 33 Gallows Lane.

The project will be substantially funded through the Campaign for Connecticut College. A key element of the funding is a $5 million grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, which previously provided a planning grant. Other leading supporters of the project are four alumnae: Jean C. Tempel ´65, Judith Ammerman ´60, Judith Opatrny ´72 and Mary Lake Polan ´65 P´02 P´10.

When New London Hall was built in 1914, it was designed as a science building. In its early years, though, it housed administrative offices, the library, the art department and even a lounge for commuter students, according to an honors thesis on the College´s architecture by Thomas Blake McDonald ´10. Only after the construction of Fanning Hall in 1930 was the building dedicated to the sciences. Its last significant interior renovation was in 1986.


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