Bates: Born Again
Sarah Lawrence is committed to building community life on campus—literally. When art studios and classrooms took up residence in the Monika A. and Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. Visual Arts Center, nearly 21,000 square feet—much of it in Bates—opened up elsewhere on campus, and a massive renovation project is now underway.
“Our top priority is creating spaces to foster community and enhance student life,” says President Michele Myers.
Over the past year, the College conducted extensive surveys of each segment of the campus community to compile a wish list, and the plans include new spaces for student activities and organizations, a new faculty dining room and adjoining meeting rooms, theatre rehearsal space and new office space for student-centered administrative services.
Bates—a workhorse building that has accommodated such diverse purposes as dining areas, art studios, faculty offices, science labs, classrooms, athletic space and the post office—offers 13,400 square feet to house new and existing activities, programs and services, with an emphasis on long-sought student space:
- The Basement, a party space available to all students for registered events
- Common Ground, a space for students of color
- Student Senate office
- Student meeting spaces for up to 75 people
- Student publications
- WSLC, the campus radio station
- A suite for different student clubs
- A new “Coffeehaus”
- The offices of career counseling, community partnerships, college events and student affairs
- A spiritual space
—and, at long last, an elevator.
The renovations are part of the College’s Strategic Initiatives fundraising program. “A gift in support of campus renovations is a gift in support of our students,” Myers says. “Our alums surely remember how much space like this would have meant to them—and it’s wonderful to be able to tell them, finally, that we’ve found it!”