Dartmouth College

Hanover,

Student Union Space Assessment

In 2002 Dartmouth College wanted to assess the use of adding 7,000 SF of social space to its existing Class of 1953 Commons Project, and evaluate the potential reuse of existing space in Thayer Hall for dining/social program space. B&D was retained to assist in this assessment and our work included a comprehensive gap analysis utilizing the existing social space inventory data and preliminary concepts developed earlier. Our assessment concluded that the integration of social, activity, and gathering spaces on the third floor of the new activity center would add value by providing a more integrated program. It would add dining and social spaces, resulting in its being used for a longer portion of the day. Our recommendations for adding 7,000 SF to the Commons Project were a multipurpose space for meetings and other functions, a black box theater with 120 seats, and an extended-hour food service component. Through a $22 million renovation of Thayer Hall, Dartmouth unveiled the Class of 1953 Commons in August 2011. Improvements included expanded seating and more flexible social spaces.