A Third-Century Update

All News & Stories
By Daniel DeVries February 29, 2024

Dear Members of the Colgate Community,

I write today with the first in a series of monthly messages that will provide regular updates about the progress we are making together under the Third-Century Plan. We hope that these messages provide important information about the numerous projects currently underway or in the planning stages.

The Ho Center for Mind, Brain, and Behavior, and the Renovation of Olin Hall

Construction at the Robert H.N. Ho Mind, Brain, and Behavior Center at Olin Hall is nearing completion. Next month, faculty and staff will begin the complex project of moving back into this now-enlarged academic building. 

Please watch this new video to hear more from a few of those community members who will make this space their home. In the coming months, we will share more about this major campus investment and the resulting scholarship and opportunities to follow.

18–22 Utica Street

If you have driven through the village recently, you have noticed that fences have been placed along 18–22 Utica Street, where a new four-story mixed-use building designed by Maurice Walters will replace three existing buildings. As the University announced on Feb. 5, exterior plans for the new building include a brick facade and design elements to match the historic character of downtown Hamilton. Demolition is now underway, and the construction process should take 21 months.

Artist's rendering of 18–22 Utica Street
An artist’s rendering of 18–22 Utica Street

Once complete, the building will feature 41 apartment units, one restaurant, two retail locations, a new 3,471 sq. ft. office space facing Madison Street, and the Partnership for Community Development coworking space, the HUB. Construction plans include the expansion of an existing alleyway to create a functional pedestrian courtyard with space for a small outdoor stage and seating for events and activities.

Most apartments will have outdoor areas, with small balconies or patios, and the fourth floor will include a shared amenity room for residents. The fourth floor will also include access to a furnished outdoor rooftop patio. Thirty-seven parking spaces will be created for residents — half will be covered from the elements. The new apartments will be designated for Colgate faculty, staff, and people seeking to live full-time in the community. These apartments will not be available to students.

Planners have worked diligently to limit construction impacts for area residents. Watch for more updates as we move through this process. Read the full announcement online.

Peter’s Glen

Meanwhile, a major landscape and infrastructure project designed to better connect the upper and middle areas of campus will begin this month, as we announced on Feb. 12. This project will dramatically transform the wooded hillside area between Dana Arts Center and Frank Dining Hall, improve campus pedestrian circulation from Case-Geyer Library to Dana, and create a new plaza on the upper campus.

rtist rendering of the power portion of Peter's Glen with students walking past a water pool.
An artist’s rendering of Peter’s Glen

The project has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Peter L. Kellner ’65, P’87, GP’16,’19, who has previously supported several other critical elements of the Third-Century Plan, including the funding of two newly endowed faculty chairs and contributions to the Colgate Commitment financial aid initiative. The reimagined and rebuilt hillside will be named Peter’s Glen in his honor.

Acclaimed landscape architects at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) are responsible for the Glen’s landscape design. MVVA is renowned for prominent design projects including Brooklyn Bridge Park, Harvard Yard, and the grounds of the presidential libraries of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

MVVA has played a critical role in every major landscape project at Colgate since 2016, including the Burke-Pinchin quad and hillside, the Bicentennial Tree planting in the Academic Quad, the restoration of Oak Drive, and the design of the new pedestrian pathways at campus entrances. Now, under MVVA’s guidance, the existing hillside between Frank Dining Hall and the Dana Arts Center will be transformed into a native landscape where water will cascade over natural stone into stepped pools alongside new pathways and heated stairs, shaded by the tree canopy. 

The Frank Dining Hall traffic circle will become a new upper plaza for improved pedestrian safety, ease of access, and a greater natural connection with the surrounding landscape. The plaza will feature stone pavers, boulder seat walls, new site lighting, and tree and understory plantings. A new lower plaza with pavers at the south side of Ryan Studio will connect the project to the developing Middle Campus, both physically and in shared materials. Read the full announcement online.

Kellner’s gift will also allow for improvements to the campus entrance at Oak Drive. Colgate’s main entrance will be updated with new trees and plantings to complement the overall campus landscape vision and create a clear connection to the walkway leading toward the Glen. A portion of the project funds will also provide the opportunity to bury unsightly utility lines along Broad Street in preparation for future construction plans on the lower campus.

Thank you

It is important to note that together these projects underscore the commitment of University staff to Colgate’s future, and much of this work is thanks to the opportunities afforded by the profound generosity of our alumni, parents, and friends. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in these projects, to those who have had to alter their day-to-day routines due to construction, and to all who continue to move Colgate forward.

I look forward to sharing more updates next month.


Daniel DeVries
Vice President for University Communications