Building for Yale’s future: A campus facilities update

A series of ambitious construction projects will support university priorities across a range of disciplines — and minimize the campus’s carbon footprint.
Humanities Quadrangle, Yale Peabody Museum, Yale Divinity School, and Kline Memorial Tower

Yale Provost Scott Strobel in a new message provided updates on major building projects underway or planned campus-wide that will help Yale advance its academic mission, including a recently completed transformation of the Humanities Quadrangle (left), which will be officially dedicated on Oct. 27; a historic renovation of the Yale Peabody Museum (center, top); a new Living Village graduate housing project at the Yale Divinity School (center, bottom); and renovations to Kline Memorial Tower (right), which will become a new hub for computational, mathematical, and statistical research, scheduled to open in summer 2023.

When Yale’s students, faculty, and staff returned to campus for the fall semester, they discovered that some of the university’s most prominent buildings were obscured by blue construction fencing.

Behind that fencing, Yale is building for the future.

In a message to faculty and staff, Yale Provost Scott Strobel shared an update on major building projects under way or planned campus-wide that will help Yale advance its academic missions of research and scholarship, education, preservation, and practice.

From construction projects that are transforming Science Hill and renovations to strengthen the campus’s “innovation corridor” near lower Hillhouse Avenue, and from a redesigned and refurbished Humanities Quadrangle on York Street to major construction projects on College Street that will promote the exploration of “medicine, molecules, and the mind,” Strobel described a series of ambitious projects that will support university priorities across a range of disciplines — and minimize the campus’s carbon footprint.

Each of these projects is the result of many hours of planning by Yale faculty and staff who have dedicated their time and efforts to define the programmatic needs for these spaces,” Strobel wrote.

Construction projects across campus will prioritize green building techniques and low-carbon technology so the new infrastructure will support the university’s goal of achieving zero operational emissions on campus by 2050, he wrote.

Some current and future projects described in the message include the following. (Find additional detail in Strobel’s message.)

  • On Science Hill, renovations to Kline Memorial Tower, the tallest building on campus, will produce a new hub for computational, mathematical, and statistical research, scheduled to open in the summer of 2023.
  • A historic renovation to the Peabody Museum of Natural History is moving closer to completion, with infrastructure work expected to be completed by December, and specimens and artifacts planned to be reinstalled next year in advance of a 2024 reopening. (When it reopens, admission to the museum will be free to the public.)
  • At the northeastern end of Science Hill, the university will soon break ground on the Physical Sciences and Engineering Building (PSEB), which will be a hub for quantum computing, engineering, materials science, and advanced instrumentation and development — and one of the largest facilities projects in Yale’s history.
  • A renovation of the Osborn Memorial Laboratories, at the intersection of Sachem Street and Prospect Street, will serve the Yale School of the Environment and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and create a dedicated space for the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture.
  • At the Yale Divinity School, the innovative Living Village’s graduate housing will be both sustainable and regenerative, with a wide range of green features.
  • Substantial investment in social science facilities, centered in the Hillhouse Avenue area, will create a new center for social sciences at Yale and the future home for some 15 new faculty members in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
  • Major renovations to facilities along lower Hillhouse Avenue over the next decade will support the creation of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) as an autonomous faculty body within the university, which was announced earlier this year, and the expansion of the school’s faculty.
  • The university this week will celebrate the dedication of its largest humanities investment to date: the creation of the award-winning Humanities Quadrangle (HQ) at 320 York Street. The transformation of the iconic building included stunning additions, including a 190-person lecture hall, a 90-person film screening room, and restoration of its Gothic features and its 3,459 stained-glass windows, which were historically reconstructed with modern thermal efficiency.
  • At 82-90 Wall Street, a comprehensive renovation will produce new modular classroom space and improved accessibility with a new academic lounge, restrooms, exterior social spaces, and connection to the neighboring coffee shop. University leaders envision these spaces as updated homes for the Program in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and the Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration.
  • The university is nearing the fundraising goal needed to begin construction of a new state-of-the-art theater, performance, and education facility at the corner of Crown and York Streets, which will serve as the new home to the David Geffen School of Drama, the Yale Repertory Theatre, and Yale’s Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies Program.
  • Meanwhile, on the southern end of campus, a major renovation across seven floors of the 100 College building will bring together members of both the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Yale School of Medicine to explore the frontiers of the mind.
  • Next door, the steel girders have been assembled for the construction of the new 101 College Street building, an ambitious project that will help New Haven further develop as a national hub for life sciences and research innovation.

I am hopeful this brief tour gives you a sense of what is ahead and the significant momentum we have generated in building the infrastructure that will advance our academic priorities,” Strobel wrote.

These projects, he said, will increase collaboration across disciplines, departments, and schools, and further connect our campus to our home city of New Haven.

Of course, buildings are just empty spaces without vibrant communities,” Strobel added. “Your contributions and aspirations are what bring them to life. Thank you for enlivening our campus, and for making these and so many more achievements possible.”

Read the full message.

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