After a controversial planning process, administrators unveiled the final renderings for Barnard's new Teaching & Learning Center on Monday evening.
The new building, which will be approximately 132,000 gross square feet, will house the library, a digital commons with five teaching labs and several flexible learning spaces, a computational science center, a café, study spaces, conferencing facilities that connect with the Diana Center, offices for the economics, history, political science, and urban studies departments, the Barnard Center for Research on Women, and the Athena Center for Leadership Studies. Construction is slated to begin this December.
Rendering of the new Teaching & Learning Center, courtesy of Barnard College
"This is, as you know, the last day of classes at the end of our 125th anniversary year, so what better way to celebrate than by building a new building?" Barnard President Debora Spar said to students at the final reveal, which took place on Lehman Lawn.
In addition to revealing the final renderings, Barnard also launched a website with more details regarding the new Teaching & Learning Center on Monday.
According to the website, the removal of Lehman Hall won't be the only thing changing on campus next semester.
Barnard's magnolia tree, which is currently located on Lehman Lawn, will permanently be relocated to the Diana Center terrace in November in order to accommodate for construction of the new building.
Though these final plans come after months of faculty criticism, preparations for the new building's construction will begin as soon as this summer, as Lehman Hall prepares to move into swing spaces that will be built into LeFrak Gymnasium by December of this year.
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Rendering of the new swing space, courtesy of Barnard College
"The process was long, was intensive, it was different," political science chair Alexander Cooley said at the reveal. "There was a lot of faculty feedback, and some faculty had different viewpoints and priorities, but the planning process did yield intensive listening sessions and back-and-forth with the administration and architects who responded to some of these faculty concerns."
Also present at the reveal were Board of Trustees Chair Jolyne Caruso-FitzGerald, BC '81, the three students who serve on the new building's steering committee, and a few members of the architectural team responsible for designing the new building: managing partner T.J. Gottesdiener, project manager Meredith Bostwick-Lorenzo Eiroa, and senior designer Colin Koop.
The building, which is structured with a five-floor base and an 11-story tower—which will be adjacent to Altschul Hall, as to not block sunlight onto the lawn—is set to complete construction by August 2018.
"As we embark on the next 125 years, we need to ensure that Barnard as a physical facility, our campus, will not only keep up with the curiosity and the ambitions of our community, but it will spark it and energize it," Caruso-FitzGerald said at the reveal. "It [the Teaching & Learning Center] will provide innovative and essential resources that will continue Barnard's amazing trajectory and serve generations of students for decades to come."