Barnard administrators, staff, alumni, and students gathered Wednesday to celebrate the near completion of the steel superstructure of the college’s new Teaching and Learning Center.
Construction for the $150 million building—recently named the Milstein Teaching and Learning Center after Cheryl Glicker Milstein, BC ’82, and Philip Milstein, CC ’71, who donated $25 million for the project—began this past winter and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2018. The new building will replace Lehman Hall, which included Barnard’s library since the 1960s.
The Milstein Teaching and Learning Center will serve as a multipurpose building centering on new technology and will house the college’s library, the Barnard Center for Research on Women, the Athena Center for Leadership Studies, a computational science center, digital commons with five teaching labs and several flexible learning spaces, a café, and office space for some of of the college’s academic departments.
Cheryl Milstein, the vice chair of Barnard’s board of trustees, and Rob Goldberg, Barnard’s interim president and chief operating officer, were in attendance at the ceremony to offer remarks.
Milstein said that while the physical construction of the new building, which she says some students have already nicknamed “Millie,” is exciting, seeing students in the space will truly provide its “heart and soul.”
Goldberg discussed the next steps in the construction process, which will include construction of the exterior walls, installation of the roof, and ensuring the building is watertight.
“In September, when students come back to campus, the building will look like a building, and we will be on our way to finishing this up,” Goldberg said.
But Milstein acknowledged that construction is bittersweet for those who will not be able to benefit from its completion.
“For all you seniors out there, I know you are sad because you’ve had labor pains, but you don’t get to have the joy of actually being on campus when the baby is born,” Milstein said. “But you know you can come back.”
Debora Spar, former president of the college, expressed similar regrets prior to her departure that she would not be able to see the project, which she started and raised funds for through the college’s capital campaign, The Bold Standard, to fruition. Despite this, Spar listed the library as one of her proudest accomplishments in an interview with Spectator.
“It’s a smart campus, it’s a bookish campus. I think particularly given the nature of the Barnard community, having a library that’s top-notch is crucial,” Spar said. “I think the new library building will finally give students the library they deserve.”