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Currently under construction, the gut renovation and expansion of the historic Public Affairs Center at Wesleyan University initiates a transition from the traditional teacher-centered classroom and faculty office models to flexible, responsive environments that support active, student-centered collaborative activities and new paradigms for faculty work.
The design of the project reorganizes interior space in the existing building, a 1927 McKim, Mead, and White former dormitory and replaces an undersized 1954 classroom addition with a new multi-story wing. The first floor will house a new collaboration commons with a “forum” gathering space and roof garden. Newman is also serving as architect of record for the replacement of a small 1954 connector to the main library with a larger connector containing a new university art gallery suite, designed by Peterson Rich Office.
The project is on track to receive LEED Gold with sustainable elements that include displacement ventilation and radiant-ceiling heating and cooling. Sustainable landscaping that establishes a new prototype for campus. It will also be one of the first projects on campus to utilize the in-progress campus loop conversion from steam to hot water and to install photovoltaic panels on flat roofs—key components of Wesleyan’s master plan for carbon neutrality by 2050.