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 has now completed design and construction on a $5 million first phase of renovations focusing on a full climate control system replacement of the entire building, expansion of the student café on the building’s ground floor, renovations to the main entry lobby and adjacent student TV lounge, and renovation of the basement level student lounge. The college’s mandatory sophmore summer semester added a level of complexity to planning for and sequencing the execution of building improvements in a way that minimizes disruption to a building that is heavily used throughout the entire year. The project was completed in the spring of 2013.