Campus Renovation

Williams College Plans Expansion of Campus Diversity Center

Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., will start construction this summer on a $27.5-million expansion to its campus diversity center. The project will take the Davis Center—which promotes institutional diversity, equity and inclusion—from 18,650 square feet to 26,350 square feet by an estimated completion date of fall 2023.

“The Davis Center, through the Pathways for Inclusive Excellence Office, offers a constellation of programs and initiatives that make sure all students thrive academically at Williams and beyond, and work to eradicate racial and socioeconomic disparities in higher education,” said D. Clinton Williams, director of Pathways for Inclusive Excellence at Williams. These programs include research opportunities; co-curricular engagements and workshops; and other opportunities for mentorship, academic enrichment, community-building and activism.

Local news reports that new spaces in the center will include offices, meeting and study rooms, student lounges, a laptop study bar, a spiritual and religious reference room, kitchens and dining rooms and multi-purpose spaces. It will also feature a large event space.

The college plans to demolish two existing buildings, Hardy House and Chandler Hall, to make room for the new construction. The school is partnering with design firm Leers Weinzapfel Associates in collaboration with J. Garland Enterprises.

“The Davis Center building project will advance academic, social and cultural engagement for all—especially those from groups historically underrepresented [in higher education]”, said Leticia Smith-Evans Haynes, Williams College vice president for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “The investment in the physical space also highlights the college’s continued commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].