December 24, 1997
Middlebury College Update
Not long ago, Middlebury College announced a $200
million goal for its Bicentennial Campaign. Approximately $50
million of that total will be allocated to help fund $210 million
in physical improvements to the campus. Some of these improvements
are already underway.
Bicentennial Hall, for which construction started
last spring, is the most ambitious building project the College
has ever undertaken. This 108,000-square-foot, $47.5 million science
facility progressed quickly due to the fine weather we enjoyed
during the fall. Foundations are in place and pre-cast concrete
wall sections are currently being put into place, giving the building
more definition. The facility will eventually rise six stories
above its lower level entryway on the west side of the building.
Bicentennial Way, a new street that starts at Route 125 west of
the campus and ends in a parking lot near the building, will provide
automobile access. From the campus, the building will be entered
at the third-floor level, traveling through a "great hall"
which affords a spectacular view of the Adirondack Mountains framed
within the extensive western window. Bicentennial Hall is scheduled
for completion in the year 2000, the year of the College's 200th
Another building project started in late summer will
complete the second phase of the College's athletic master plan.
At some point during their 1998-99 seasons, the Middlebury men's
and women's hockey teams will take the ice in a magnificent new
arena that will seat about 2300 spectators. The rink will be entered
through a spacious entryway that will also serve as a gallery
where artifacts from Middlebury's sports history will be on display.
Part of this space will also serve as a common area linking the
hockey arena with the recently completed natatorium, a swimming
and diving facility that was completed about a year ago.
Three new student residences located in the wooded
area at the western edge of the campus are nearly completed. The
new housing units, each capable of housing 30 students, are expected
to be ready for occupancy during the winter term. A fourth facility
is planned for completion in the spring.
Two more projects should be mentioned as well: a
recently completed women's softball field located off South Street,
which will be the home field for Middlebury's newest intercollegiate
sports team; and a renovation project to convert the former swimming
pool area in the McCullough student center to a "grille"
where a variety of food and beverage items will be available during
evening and late-night hours. This project also provides space
under one roof for a game room, juice bar, a small stage for cabaret-type
performances, a television viewing room, a convenience store,
and a billiard pavilion.
And finally, the changes to College Street, which
required Route 125 commuters to negotiate a slalom course of sorts
last summer has improved the safety of pedestrians crossing College
Street in the vicinity of the campus. Several "neck-downs"
and crosswalks were created to slow down motorists and provide
obvious points for students and others to cross the street. Lighting
was significantly improved along the street and a sidewalk bordered
by a stone wall was constructed to improve pedestrian access to
the student parking lot at the western edge of campus.