Connecticut College: Campus Construction 2009

College opens new $8 million fitness center

With a quick snip of the ribbon, College President Leo I. Higdon Jr. officially opened the College's new 10,000-square-foot fitness center on Sept. 4, 2009 - the first new building on campus in 14 years.

The $8 million facility, built entirely with gifts to the College, triples the workout and fitness space for students, faculty, staff and other members of the college community. Its two stories rise above the Lyn and David Silfen Track and Field with sweeping views of the Thames River. Inside, wooden beams complement the clean lines of the metal railings, dark gray floors and glass walls.

The first building to be constructed since the College adopted a green building policy in 2005, the fitness center uses high efficiency HVAC equipment and lighting controls, making it 21 percent more energy efficient than standard design. 

See pictures from the opening ceremony.

View a slideshow of the fitness center construction progress.

Other summer renovations focused on infrastructure, safety

The fitness center opening did not overshadow the importance of other campus renovations that took place over the summer. Focusing primarily on infrastructure, safety and code improvements, this summer’s campus improvement projects had an approximate price tag of $8 million as compared with last summer’s large-scale $11 million investment.

Proposed projects included the replacement of windows in Freeman House, the installation and replacement of fire alarm and sprinkler systems in 360 Mohegan and Earth House, and the upgrade and replacement of high voltage transformers that serve Smith/Burdick, Blunt, Larrabee, Winthrop and Winthrop Annex.

The installation of a new air conditioning system benefits the computer systems in Bill Hall. Even the windows of Harkness Chapel got a facelift with exterior repairs and painting of the framework, as did several of the residence halls.
According to Jim Norton, director of physical plant services, the campus finally said goodbye to the old north tennis courts, which were demolished, and green grass now grows in the open space. Added bleachers at Silfen Field and rebuilt sidewalks to the AC bridge give the campus community something to cheer about.

Facelifts for Admission, College Center, Athletic Center

Other projects included improvements to the Admission visitor lot and a fresh coat of paint on the College Center's southern exposure. Work crews also renovated the former 2,500-square-foot fitness center for other exercise and sports programming. 
The renovations were part of a 10-year asset renewal plan that will invest more than $60 million in the campus grounds, buildings and infrastructure.

Last summer, the College made significant upgrades to the Athletic Center, including the entryway and the Hall of Fame room.