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Work zone

This summer has been one of the most active construction periods of all time on the River Campus. Work on many of the new facilities and improvement projects is scheduled to be completed by the fall. An overview of a few of the projects follows.

Frederick Douglass Building

Centrally located on the River Campus, the Frederick Douglass Building is being renovated and transformed into a vibrant new student center. Home to Douglass Dining Center and the former University bookstore, all four floors are being completely redone, resulting in a state-of-the-art dining facility and redesigned student gathering spaces, as well as the home for the Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center and a new Language Center. The full renovation is expected to be completed in time for fall 2016 classes.

The new dining area will include a micro-restaurant environment with made-to-order food stations: a kosher station with full-time Orthodox oversight; a bistro station with pastas, salads, and sandwiches; allergen-free and gluten-free stations; a street food station; and a dessert and ice cream bar. With more than 280 student groups on campus, the reconfigured and more flexible meeting spaces will allow groups to host speakers, programs, and other activities organized for and by students.

The Intercultural Center’s new location will allow for greater intercultural programming with new seminar rooms, a resource center, an exhibition gallery, and access to the kitchen and dining area. The center exists to promote cultural awareness and engagement, educate on issues of culture and diversity, and provide opportunities for collaboration among faculty, staff, and students. The Language Center is envisioned as a vibrant international environment that will attract language learners, native speakers, and heritage speakers and will augment the more than 20 global cultural student organizations that have limited visibility and resources.

Wegmans Hall

Wegmans Hall, future home to the Goergen Institute for Data Science, is scheduled to be ready for full occupation and classes in winter 2017. Both Wegmans Hall and the Goergen Institute are set to be dedicated during Meliora Weekend in October.


The 58,000-square-foot facility will bring together on four floors faculty in medicine, science and engineering, the humanities, education, business, and other disciplines for the purpose of data science research and studies. State-of-the-art in its design, it will offer an assortment of lab and classroom spaces, collaborative work zones, and faculty and staff offices, as well as a large auditorium.

The Edmund A. Hajim Science & Engineering Quadrangle

The Edmund A. Hajim Science & Engineering Quadrangle—the four acres enclosed by Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics, Hylan Hall, Hutchison Hall, the Computer Studies Building, and the future Wegmans Hall—will include new walkways, trees, and seating when it’s ready this fall.

S&E QUAD diagonal walkways

The space will feature diagonal walkways to better connect the perimeter of the quadrangle and create more fluid paths to the rest of the River Campus. The steep gradients of the land are being reduced to create a larger, flatter green space for tents and activities. A new botanical rain garden with wall seating will be a sustainable feature along the eastern edge of Goergen Hall, and several new trees will be added to help reduce the wind tunnel experience common to the area.

New residence hall

Construction began this summer on a new 72,000-square-foot residence hall on the River Campus, overlooking the University’s Brian F. Prince Athletic Complex. Planned to house 151 first-year students, the building’s design integrates academics, athletics, and student life into a residential experience. It’s scheduled to open in fall 2017 as a modern, air-conditioned facility, which will also seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation for sustainable construction, operations, and landscaping.

9 - Exterior Rendering

The top four floors of residential space will feature single and double bedrooms, as well as lounges with ceiling-high windows to maximize sunlight. The main level will be dedicated to academic and student life services with meeting rooms and offices. This space will include meeting rooms for study groups and workshops and offices that will be available for health professions, as well as career, academic, fellowship, and STEM advising.

“The academic and student services located right in the residence hall will help us support students in a way that is more integrated with their lifestyle, including offering evening and weekend hours for these offices,” says Richard Feldman, dean of the College. “The addition of this residence hall will also help to free up space for upperclassmen in the housing system, enabling us to meet our goal of housing over 80 percent of our students on campus.”

The lower field-level of the building will feature varsity athletics locker rooms, as well as rooms for sports medicine and team equipment.

“This new facility will more effectively support existing varsity program needs with adequate locker rooms, training rooms, and an equipment-issue area commensurate with current standards for programs of our size and scope,” says George VanderZwaag, executive director of athletics and recreation. “Built in 1930, the ground floor space within Fauver Stadium currently used doesn’t meet these needs for the number of varsity teams currently sponsored by the University, and was not designed to provide any space for women’s programs, given that women did not reside on the River Campus at that time.”

New Fauver Stadium press box

The existing press box in Fauver stadium is being replaced this summer with a larger press box/media center. A new heated space will also add comfort to reporters and University Athletics staff, particularly during the September–November and February–April timeframes, when the stadium and press box area are in heavy use.

The University’s outdoor athletic facilities have seen significant improvements over the past few years thanks to a lead gift from University Trustee Brian Prince ’86, ’89S (MBA) to support various projects and establish the Brian F. Prince Athletic Complex. Upgraded baseball field and track surfaces that are more water- and weather-resistant now allow for more competitions to take place, and modernized lighting, signage, and landscaping have already greatly enhanced the spectator experience.

Rush Rhees Library’s Evans Lam Square

Evans Lam Square is a bold modernization of the patron services area in Rush Rhees Library. As a multiuse meeting space, it will serve as the central location for library users to do research, collaborate on projects, and explore new technologies.

Evans Lam Sqaure

Lam Square will be the central location for Rush Rhees Library’s Q&i service, which provides circulation and basic research support for patrons.

One of the focal points of Lam Square is “The Wall,” which will house the Q&i service, study booths, research consultation spaces, and more. Inspired by the many built-in bookcases in Rush Rhees, the Wall will be constructed on the far side of Lam Square, just before the stacks entrance, and will add new architectural character to the space.

Kilbourn Hall

At the Eastman School of Music, Kilbourn Hall is getting a facelift this summer. The renovation preserves Kilbourn Hall’s acoustics while enhancing the audience experience. Upgrades include new carpeting, new seats, aisle lighting, and handrails.


A portion of the project budget is devoted to adding an elevator backstage to make the stage accessible to people with disabilities. The space will reopen for the 2016–17 academic year.

In addition to serving as the primary location for faculty, student, and guest-artist recitals, the 444-seat hall plays host to the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival and the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival and has welcomed legendary artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Ron Carter, and Dave Brubeck. Considered one of the finest chamber music halls in the world, Kilbourn’s fine acoustics also make it a frequent choice for commercial recording sessions.