St. Michael’s College Student Center and Residence Hall

The 100,000 square foot Dion Family Student Center at St. Michael’s College consists of a new three-story student center combined with a four-story residence hall. The project was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees following a multi-year planning process that involved students, staff and faculty. It was completed earlier this winter.

Freeman French Freeman designed the buildings to serve as a new “front door” to the Saint Michael’s campus. The Quad Commons Student Center, with open, naturally bright spaces, includes campus dining facilities, a fitness center, student services offices, a multi-purpose meeting and banquet room for up to 400 guests, and several student lounges. The attached residence hall will provide housing for 105 students in a mix of single rooms and four-person suites.

“These buildings provide superb outside-the-classroom learning spaces and living spaces,” said SMC President John J. Neuhauser. “A real student center—a place to relax, study, gather, exercise—will enable us to better serve all students and compete more effectively in the higher education market.”

“Students love the buildings,” notes Campus Architect Jim Farrington, who has been involved with the project since its inception. “We had a soft opening for the first and second floors and right away they were finding nooks and rooms to settle in for study and leisure time.”

The buildings include many “green” features including a geothermal heating and cooling system, a high-performance building envelope, and energy-efficient lighting, notes Farrington. Energy recovery systems are included as part of the ventilation systems to capture remaining heat from exhausted air. Lighting is provided by a mix of natural daylighting, high-efficiency fluorescents, and LEDs, cutting electricity use by 40% compared to standard lighting practices. More than 29,000 square feet of Englert Series 1300 UltraCool standing seam roof panels cover the student center and new residence dorm. Most of the existing residence buildings and other campus facilities have slate or copper roofs. A key reason the design team chose the 20-inch wide, 24-gauge standing seam metal panel was ease of maintenance while still being able to choose a mixed grey, green and blue coating for the roofs that would complement the existing slate and copper already in place.

Rodd Roofing of St. Johnsbury, Vermont installed the new roofing.

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