Celebrating Mount Holyoke’s new community center

Alumnae visiting campus often spend time at their favorite spots and seek out those spaces that are new since they graduated. Over the past few months, the Community Center has been the focal point of many of those visits, as it sits, quite literally, in the center of campus. The complex, which includes Blanchard Hall, opened last spring and combines new and old construction to offer a 21st-century design that incorporates the history of the College.

The third floor of Blanchard Hall — now known as the Weissman Student Commons — houses student organization offices and places for students across disciplines to collaborate. The second floor houses the offices for the Division of Student Life along with several gathering spaces, including the Unity Center, where students and others on campus enjoy a weekly meal together at Interfaith Lunch. The lower level of the building offers more space to relax, study or collaborate, as well as the Grab ’n Go and the Cochary Pub & Kitchen, both with quick meal options.

The Dining Commons, a 34,000-square-foot addition off of Blanchard Hall that overlooks Lower Lake, is open from early morning to late in the evening. Diners can assemble a meal from nine food stations, including kosher and halal offerings, a 40-ingredient salad bar, an all-day omelet station, pizza ovens and international cuisine. The building offers six distinctive dining rooms, including a tranquility room for those seeking a quiet environment. Designed to LEED Silver-equivalent standards, the Commons is one of many campus initiatives that will help the College achieve carbon neutrality by 2037, Mount Holyoke’s bicentennial.

In September, the Community Center was a place for celebration during the weekend of the inauguration of President Sonya Stephens. College trustees, Alumnae Association board members and special guests gathered to recognize the many individuals who made the Community Center possible.

 

This article appeared as “Celebrating the Community Center” in the fall 2018 issue of the Alumnae Quarterly.

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