Architects Selected for Campus Projects

ARH/Carnegie renovations, a new admission/visitor center, and a landscaping plan are underway

EYP, an architecture firm in Boston, was selected in February to design the new learning spaces for social studies and humanities — excluding the fine arts. The project will include renovation of Alumni Recitation Hall (ARH) and Carnegie Hall as well as new construction.

In May, EYP visited campus for an open forum with faculty, staff, and students. EYP introduced three preliminary conceptual strategies that showed possible building organizational elements, such as the use of an atrium to link new and old sections of ARH or a courtyard that would remain open to the elements. EYP received a great deal of feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the three different approaches. 

EYP designers are working with members of faculty and staff to develop the list of functions the new spaces must provide and the square footage for them. Additional considerations include how to meet high standards of accessibility and sustainability. 

Schematic design work will begin in the fall of 2015. The rest of the design process will likely take a year to 18 months. Based on the College’s previous experience with major academic building projects, it may take about two years to build a new building and one year to renovate an existing structure. 

“We’re fairly sure that we won’t be able to build and renovate at the same time,” says Erik Simpson, professor of English and co-chair of the ARH Carnegie Planning Committee. “We don’t even know yet whether ARH and Carnegie can be renovated at the same time.” 

A tentative target date for final occupancy is June 2020.

The ARH and Carnegie renovation is one part of a larger project that also includes a new admission and visitor center and a comprehensive campus landscaping plan. In June, Ayers Saint Gross, a design firm based in Baltimore, was selected to take on these projects. 

Ayers Saint Gross will partner with Confluence, a regional landscaping design firm with an office in Des Moines, Iowa, to ensure the use of building materials and natural elements to reflect Grinnell’s prairie location.

For all of these projects, the 

College’s Board of Trustees authorized expenditures of $100 million — $20 million to come from gifts and the remaining $80 million from debt. (See Page 31 for a related story.)

Project updates will be shared at

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