In May 2017, the College will begin construction on a new building, The Roux Center for the Environment, funded with a gift of $10 million from Barbara and David Roux. The building, to be located on the corner of Harpswell Road and College Street across from the Schwartz Outdoor Leadership Center, will open in Fall 2018.

“We have a really amazing effort and amazing work that’s being done, and it became increasingly clear to me that there’s an opportunity to make it even better, even greater, to really cement our position as...the preeminent liberal arts college studying the environment over the next several years,” said President Clayton Rose in a phone interview with the Orient. 
Rose has assembled a program committee, which he will chair, composed of faculty, students, staff and Interim Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Dean for Faculty Jennifer Scanlon. Over the next several months, this committee will be working with Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc., an architecture firm, to discuss the possibilities for the building. By Fall 2016, the committee will be beginning to determine the final design.

The land for the Roux Center was acquired by the College in June 2000 when it was still occupied by the Lancaster House, the former Alpha Kappa Sigma fraternity house. In late November 2013, the College demolished it. 

Before construction starts, the College will need approval from the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees, the Brunswick Planning Board and other local regulatory agencies. Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc., will be designing the building to fulfill the highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

“What we’re hopeful for is that the center can act as a focal point for the many different skills and disciplines and research that will be necessary to address the issue [of the environment],” said David Roux, in a phone interview with the Orient.

Roux feels that the College’s commitment to conservation and the environment matches his own. He hopes that his contribution will allow the College to double down what he feels is an important area.     Roux is a member of the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees. He is a co-founder, senior director and former CEO of Silver Lake Group. Barbara Roux is a graduate of University of Georgia and runs St. Bride’s Farm, an American show jumper breeding and training farm in Upperville, Virginia. 

Currently, Bowdoin’s environmental courses are dispersed around campus, primarily in Adams Hall and Druckenmiller Hall, with field work occurring at the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island and the Coastal Studies Center on Orr’s Island in Harpswell.

The Roux Center would serve as a nexus for environmental study at the College. That connective feature is crucial to Rose’s vision for the field. 

“One of the things we needed was a place for those who are engaged in this work to do their work and to do it in a way that will allow them to be incredibly creative and collaborative,
 said Rose.