The house at 30 College St. underwent extensive renovations this summer to become the new Multicultural Center for students and groups on campus, ending its tenure as student housing.

"This building will give student groups a space that fits their needs, rather than trying to make them fit into a space created without their needs in mind," said Associate Dean of Multicultural Student Programs Wil Smith. "If diversity is one of the central values of Bowdoin College, then it's also important that a building that celebrates diversity in all its forms is in the center of campus."

Following two months of construction, the Multicultural Center's renovations reflect the needs of more than a dozen multicultural and multifaith groups that will use the space. The building retained much of its original design and architecture, including recovered hardwood floors, stair rails, and windows.

The center features two kitchens, including one for kosher cooking, a room with radiant heat flooring, a large entry room with couches and chairs, and an assortment of smaller rooms for club meetings, studying, and prayer. There is also an office for Smith and another for Anne Peacock, director of the Queer and Transgender Resource Center.

Two students, Alice Ciobanu '08 and Naomi Sturm '08, also live in the building as house managers. Ciobanu is the point of contact for any groups on campus who want to use the space, while Sturm works with groups and Smith, coordinating programs and events.

"Over the past six or seven years, Bowdoin's population of students of color and underrepresented groups has increased immensely," Smith said. "This was actually an opportunity to accommodate the many students and organizations that have blossomed over the last few years in a thoughtful way, rather than force them into an existing space."

Smith also stressed that the house is meant to be a great resource and welcoming meeting ground for all students at Bowdoin, not just minorities.

"It's not meant to be an exclusive building. I can't say that enough," he said. "It's meant to be an informal alternative for other places to hang out, in addition to providing much needed space for our cultural and identity-related groups on campus."

Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs Hazlett said that as an administrator she is very impressed by the resources that went into the building, in addition to the support from members of the Bowdoin community.

"This is taking things to the next step. Here's a space for all students, not just multicultural groups," she said. "It's a new, lively center of campus where students can come together?an extension of the dining hall where they can hear a speaker, go to a Shabbat dinner with a Jewish friend, and more."