The Collis Center – making up the core of student life along with the neighboring Robinson Hall and The Class of 1953 Commons building – occupies a privileged location on the southwest corner of The Green, the central common around which Dartmouth College is organized, and serves as an important threshold between the campus and the town at the end of commercial Main Street. Originally called College Hall and dating back to the turn of the century, the building has been renovated and expanded at over the years – most recently in 1993 – but has always maintained its role as a student common facility.
Initially hired to conduct a long range plan that studied ways to improve student oriented space both within the building and in the grounds immediately adjacent, Oudens Ello Architecture is now in the early stages of a $5 million first phase of renovations focusing on a full climate control system replacement, expansion of the student café on the building’s ground floor, and renovations to the main entry lobby and adjacent student lounge. The college’s mandatory sophmore summer semester adds a level of complexity in terms of planning for and sequencing the execution of building improvements in a way that minimizes disrupion to a building that is heavily used throughout the entire year. The project is scheduled for completion by the 2013 winter term.