4/16/2009

Brooks Construction Starts in May

Soon after the last student leaves campus and heads home for the summer, demolition crews will descend on the connecting structure between Marshall and Buchanan halls.

Say goodbye to Quiznos, the Brooks House seminar room and the old phone booths.

Say hello to the 5,000-square-foot Brooks College House Commons, which should be completed by January 2010.

“The commons will be bright, open and welcoming,” said Brooks College House Don Jack Heller.

The outside will share some design aspects with the Bonchek and Ware commons, but the interior will have limestone and maple wood floors and will contain long hallways, perfect for hanging art.

The Brooks College House has been named in honor of Robert J. Brooks Sr. ’66 and Susan Brooks P’98, who pledged $2.5 million to build a new commons.

“We want these students to have that feeling that this is a home for them as well as a place of learning and growth,” Susan Brooks said during a September 2008 gathering when the gift was announced.

“The students heard Sue Brooks and took what she said to heart,” Heller said.

“The commons truly belongs to the students, and they have taken the lead in designing much of the decor.”

Although the colors and furniture choices have yet to be finalized, Heller said, the students have made it clear that they want the emphasis to be on comfort and building a sense that this is a home away from home.

For Heller, one of the focal points of the new commons will be a 110-foot-long hallway that will become a gallery space for art, photographs and Brooks College House memorabilia.

“We hope to have art continuously displayed. We envision starting a permanent Brooks House collection,” he suggested. The first pieces he’d like to add to the collection are from the Brooks College House Photography Exhibition.

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