Miller Bicentennial Hall Opens September 20, 2010
The newly-renovated Miller Bicentennial Hall opened for classes on Monday, September 20, 2010.
The humanities center, which represents Phase 1 of the renovation project of the Miller building, includes 14 new classrooms fully-outfitted with state-of-the-art technology suites including Smart™ Boards, High- Definition projectors, audio-recording and video-conferencing capabilities on the horizon. Designed to offer faculty and students access to one another and to ideas, beautifully-appointed rooms include Harkness™-style tables and modular works stations. Tutorial rooms, a multi-media seminar room, a technology lab, and departmental offices offer additional flexibility for small and larger classes and discussion groups. A centerpiece of the facility is the Pacific Culture Room designed by alumnus Eric O’Leary ’67, internationally-recognized-ceramist, sculptor, and designer and owner of Tariki Studios in Meriden, NH. The room’s intricate design and unique features celebrate the long tradition of education Kimball Union has had with Korean, Japanese, and more recently Chinese students, families, and alumni.
“Our new humanities center affirms Kimball Union’s mission and values and commitment to being on the cutting edge of technology. It provides our students with access to the tools they need for 21st century learning,” said Head of School Mike Schafer.
Built in 1961, the Miller building was named in honor of KUA alumnus, Charles Ransom Miller, editor of the New York Times for 39 years. The iconic structure served the school originally as a kitchen and dining hall and later as a student center but with the evolution of the campus, had recently become an underutilized space. During KUA’s master planning process, a space and usage analysis identified the critical need for additional classrooms. In keeping with the school’s sustainability initiatives, the opportunity to repurpose an existing building while making environmentally-sensitive improvements to its aging infrastructure became an ideal solution. A new high-quality thermal envelope includes foam insulation, air barriers, and new thermal pane windows. It is anticipated that energy consumption for the building will be reduced by 75-85% and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 200,000 pounds. Classroom lighting systems that harvest natural light automatically dim to adjust to available daylight. Sustainable materials such as linoleum, as well as regionally-quarried, low-maintenance materials like slate, were used for floor coverings. 50% of the demolition materials were recycled, and low VOC paints and sealants were used throughout the building.
The new building is completely ADA-compliant and features completely updated life-safety systems.
The project was designed by UK Architects of Hanover, NH. Students participated in the design and building committee and helped to make many key decisions as they learned first-hand the complexities of a building project of this scope.
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building will take place during Homecoming Weekend on Friday, October 22 at 5 pm.
Through the Kimball Union’s bicentennial campaign, IMPACT, the school successfully raised $4.5 million for the first phase of the project and will continue to fundraise while the project is underway. Learn more here.