The future plans in the works, such as the chapel, dorm renovations, and new outdoor tennis courts, are only a portion of the administration’s plans for the future of Hillsdale’s campus.
The master plan, which includes all the projects the college hopes to eventually accomplish, includes renovations from the Knorr Student Center to near the Sports Complex. While these projects remain only ideas still, having not been fully architecturally mapped and designed and require funds not currently in possession, Chief Administrative Officer Richard Péwé said, it will transform campus.
“It provides an idea of what might ultimately happen and it gives us something that can be proposed,” Péwé said. “Hillsdale College is a lifelong commitment. Students and alumni are always to be of service to the college, and the college is always there to help them and be a service to them. These buildings are a part of that. What we build affects the functioning and excellence of the campus, and it’s also crucial to the functioning and excellence of its outreach programs.”
The school plans to give Knorr a $5‑million renovation.
“We’ll have a colonnade or something like a colonnade that would blend it in with the outside,” Péwé said.
In addition to the building’s aesthetics, the outside space of Knorr will be updated. A fireplace will provide use of the outdoor area for all four seasons, according to Péwé, and the patios will be extended to create space behind Knorr and before the quad.
“There is the intention of beautifying the exterior and also rendering that area into giving it porch-like elements that create comfortable and appealing spaces that allow students to sit, study, and socialize,” Provost David Whalen said. “The students do a good job of squeezing as much use of the outdoors as they can. It might be nice to have extended semi-covered porch areas with the fire pits and seating.”
Both the inside and outside of Knorr will be renovated.
“We fixed it up to look more presentable, but it’s still in a place that’s not on the reading,” Péwé said.
The space will hopefully allow for networking and closer communication between students and college visitors.
“We’ll be more visible,” Executive Director of Career Services Michael Murray said. “The opportunity to interact with students will increase just because they see you. There’s going to be a lot of increased traffic with Searle Center. It’ll help create a space for all the people that come to campus that they have a space to do business, and the students there, so natural relationships can form.”
Péwé also hopes to include high-tech classrooms providing the capabilities for students to participate in events or classes taking place at the Kirby Center in Washington, D.C., classrooms and seminar rooms for marketing presentations and graduate classes, and room for the new radio station and program that launches in July.
Additionally, the college hopes to increase its $4.5 million expansion of Philips Auditorium from 340 ft. to 800 ft. Central Hall is scheduled to be renovated with a backside addition so as to be accessible from all sides.
“This proposed project brings everything together – Searle dining room, Phase II Auditorium expansion, Knorr, Dow – into a comprehensive plan,” Péwé said. “That’s the goal: they had a planned, everything looks like it was placed in the right spot. There’s a harmony. We try to make our architecture beautiful that represents what we were and are.”