Colgate Launches the Lower Campus Initiative

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A rendering of lower campus
May 8, 2024

Colgate University will mark the beginning phases of the Lower Campus Initiative under the Third-Century Plan this summer with construction and restoration projects at 66 and 70 Broad Street.

Over the next several years, Colgate will invest more than $200 million to enhance student and residential life at the University. “Changes in the first two renovations will support a holistic program that supports community, addresses accessibility, and creates student housing for Colgate’s next century,” says Vice President and Dean of the College Paul J. McLoughlin II. “We are constructing not only sleeping spaces, but also social, dining, and study places, where juniors and seniors can embrace community while enjoying greater independence.”

The chapter house of Delta Upsilon at 66 Broad Street currently houses 33 students, with 26 in double rooms. A yearlong renovation project will reimagine those living spaces, creating 26 single rooms and four doubles, increasing the capacity and comfort of the house for all students. Meanwhile, social and party spaces will be separated from living quarters, so that those who wish to study and rest may do so, regardless of other activities taking place at the house.

The University will recognize DU’s history at Colgate and its traditions through the selection of accent colors and decorations reflective of their fraternity’s charter. Hallways and common spaces will be bright and well-lit, and a new dining room will facilitate group meals. Most importantly, the building will be made accessible through the installation of lifts and ramps. 

Throughout its long history, 70 Broad Street has been expanded on multiple occasions. Renovations will restore the original house facing Broad Street — underscoring the University’s commitment to historic preservation — and replace the patchwork of later additions with a single annex that matches the architectural character of the home. The design will also incorporate a green roof. This new space will include accessible bedrooms and bathrooms, a dining room, living room, and kitchen.

In its current form, 70 Broad Street can house 11 students, eight in double rooms. Following renovations, it will welcome 20 students, all in single rooms.

The University has pursued sustainable building practices in all of its recent construction projects, and the tradition continues at 66 and 70 Broad Street, where building envelopes and mechanical systems will provide greater efficiency in heating and cooling. Contractors will reuse materials and structures where possible.

While residents of both houses will be temporarily relocated for the 2024–25 academic year, members of each special interest community will continue to live and dine together, thanks to careful planning by the Office of Residential Life.

After completing these important projects, the University will continue to pursue its Lower Campus plans by regrading the West Row, the area behind current Broad Street houses, and installing utilities to support new construction.

These renovations are just the beginning of a complete transformation of residential life for juniors and seniors. The Lower Campus project — a mix of creation and re-creation — will renew the physical spaces along Broad and College streets. The effort reimagines how juniors and seniors live and interact with their peers, and it promises a more equitable residential experience across all four years as a way of fostering connections between undergraduates of all interests and backgrounds. The Lower Campus Plan will positively contribute to our students’ mental, physical, and personal wellness while helping them transition to life following graduation.