Work is now underway at Centre College to renovate a campus building to increase available student housing in time for the arrival of the Class of 2021 in the fall.
Converting the third floor of the 762 West Main Street building will add 20 beds to the housing inventory, and at a time when space has become at a premium thanks to continued success in recruitment efforts. Centre set a new record this past year with 400 new first-year students in the Class of 2020, and that achievement will be eclipsed with deposited students for next fall now approaching 420.
As a highly residential college, with approximately 98 percent of students living on campus, housing options include a mix of new and historic properties.
Breckinridge Hall, for instance, was built in 1892 and originally served as a dormitory for students of the Danville Theological Seminary. More recent construction includes the apartment-style A. Eugene Brockman Residential Commons completed in 2012, which is LEED Silver certified and features geothermal heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, along with the first solar-powered trash compactor on campus.
An earlier renovation project to an adjacent building, Wiseman Hall, added 14 beds to a newly configured third floor. It proved so successful that it gave confidence to Wayne King, director of facilities management, to approach a similar project.
Ross Tarrant Architects took advantage of every inch to optimize the available square footage, with the result being living spaces that include dormer windows and unique nooks and crannies.
While King admits that work will need to be completed on a tight timetable to meet the Aug. 9 goal for furnishings to arrive, he’s confident that another partnership with local general contractor Tim McCoy will prove successful and be completed on time.
Original construction of 762 West Main Street was completed in 1940, with a renovation in 1997. The building originally served as the campus dining hall. It now houses Centre’s Information Technology Services offices on the first floor, with a residential space for 22 students on the second floor. It sits next to the College’s first building, Old Centre, Kentucky’s oldest continuously operating academic building, which was built in 1820.
by Michael Strysick
May 5, 2017