The College of Wooster has announced that it is moving toward a major renovation and transformation of the campus’s Lowry Center.
The project will encompass a new 8,000 sq. ft. atrium addition on the existing building and a renovation of the entire interior, including: relocating central dining to the main level to increase its size, accessibility, and overall efficiency; a new centralized home on the upper level for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Dean of Students, Residential Life and Student Activities, as well as a main lounge and flexible workspace for student organizations; and, a ground floor featuring the College bookstore, post office, print shop, MacLeod’s coffee bar and convenience store, radio station and breakout rooms, as well as The Alley, which was renovated in 2017-2018.
“Lowry Center is the heart of our campus. It’s the one place where every student goes every day, and it plays a central role in the learning they do on campus by living, leading and spending time together,” said Sarah Bolton, president of Wooster. “This renovation will create a welcoming and inspiring space that surrounds us all the time with a sense of Wooster’s inclusive values, with a particular highlight on the international and diverse nature of our community. It will be a vibrant and bright center that draws students in and draws them together, with a variety of formal and informal spaces for club and organization meetings, group work and relaxation, an updated dining hall and convenience store, and centralized resources to support student thriving and well-being.”
Wooster has already raised nearly $26 million in support of the project thanks to early support from 14 donors, including lead gifts from: Doug Brush ’77, Richard J. Bell ’63 and Toni F. Clark, John and Doon Allen Foster’80, The Austin E. Knowlton Foundation, Inc., William A. Longbrake ’65, and Stephen C. Gault ’73. The project will be done in phases with an anticipated completion date of December 2022, and an estimated total cost of approximately $40 million. The timeline for the project is pending further approval by Wooster’s Board of Trustees early next year.
View architectural renderings of the new Student Center below.
The new student center will feature many spaces with naming opportunities. Among the high-profile spaces in the new building are the entrance plaza, the lobby, upper commons, dining hall, the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Suite, a lower promenade, the bookstore, and other key student-life offices. To view design concepts, visit the project site at wooster.edu/student-center. Please contact Wooster’s Office of Development at 330-263-2325 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an interest in supporting this project.
The Lowry renovation is a key priority in the Connect, Create, Discover strategic plan to create a vibrant, welcoming, strongly-woven and inclusive campus community that supports learning, thriving, wellness, and fun by prioritizing investment in spaces that support connection and community-building. It comes on the heels of the highly successful Wooster’s Promise campaign—the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in school history, concluded in fall 2018, which raised more than $190 million in support of student financial aid, academic strength, experiential education, general operations, and the life sciences.
Lowry Center opened in 1968 and is named for Howard Foster Lowry ’23, Wooster’s sixth president who served from 1944-1967. Lowry was best known for establishing the College’s signature Independent Study program, also known as I.S., in 1945. In 1950, Lowry made I.S. mandatory for all members of the graduating class, saying “every member of the student body is included in the best academic invitation the College has to give.”
The project is being designed by Boston-based architects at Bergmeyer. Bogner Construction Company of Wooster will be the construction manager.