This past summer, the College completed construction of the Robert H. and Blythe Bickel Edwards Center for Art and Dance, a facility built to house all visual arts and dance classes. Additional, smaller scale improvements around campus include the new terrace outside Moulton Union and construction on South Campus Drive and College Street.

The Edwards Art Center was formerly Longfellow Elementary School, which the College bought from the town of Brunswick and renovated. The project cost $6.5 million and remained on budget. 

According to Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Katy Longley, the most significant aspect of the building’s renovation was the creation of a second floor dance studio in space previously used as a gymnasium. 

Visual Art Professor Michael Kolster, who sat on the building committee for the Edwards Center, said that he was happy with the high level of involvement that professors in relevant departments had in the construction of the new space.

“I’d say there was a lot of input on the part of the faculty for how these spaces would be carved up and how they would appear,” he said.

One of the main motivations for the new space was to unify all visual and performing arts facilities, which had previously been scattered across campus. 

“Part of our curriculum has been developed to encourage our students, specifically our majors, to have a broad exposure to a range of media and perspectives,” said Kolster. He added that that he hopes the consolidation will lead to more interaction between arts students from different disciplines.

“It’s a wonderful moment for the visual arts program and the dance program at Bowdoin, for us to now have our own home, a place for students and faculty to create and collaborate all under one roof,” he said.

The other major construction completed this summer, the terrace-like landscaping added to the entrance of Moulton Dining Hall, was intended to beautify campus and create cohesiveness with Coe Quad. 

“That side of Moulton was always pretty unattractive. I think [the renovations] knit Coe Quad and Studzinski Hall and Moulton together more,” said Longley.

Construction is still underway to change the movement of traffic on South Campus Drive and College Street. This project is the responsibility of the town of Brunswick, and was part of the deal for the acquisition of Longfellow School (now the Edwards Center) by the College. The project is scheduled to end September 21, although the town’s deadline is not until September 27.

Looking ahead, the main construction slated for the coming year is the renovation of the Stevens Home. The former nursing home, located at 52 Harpswell Road, will house 27 students in single and double rooms. The facility also includes a kitchen, dining room and common space.