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Windhover Contemplative Center to break ground in June

A new site for contemplation and reflection will break ground in June on the west side of campus in front of Roble Hall. The center will feature the paintings of the late Nathan Oliveira and will be a place to take a break from the day's intensity.

Aidlin Darling Design

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The university will break ground after Commencement on a new center for contemplation and reflection adjacent to the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden at the corner of Santa Teresa Street and Lomita Mall.

The one-story, 4,000-square-foot Windhover Contemplative Center has been on the university's construction agenda for about 15 years. The estimated $5.3 million project received design approval from the Board of Trustees in October and site approval in April. The center is on the consent calendar for project approval at the Feb. 11-12 meeting of the Board of Trustees. It will be submitted for final approval in June. The building is tentatively scheduled to be completed in spring 2014.

The new center, designed by Aidlin Darling Design architects, will be located on what is now a parking lot in front of Roble Hall. It will include three rooms featuring four large paintings by the late Stanford art Professor Nathan Oliveira. Outside landscaping will feature a reflection pool and garden areas for meditation. The building will be enclosed in glass, allowing for viewing of the Oliveira paintings even from outside. Benches and cushions will be strategically placed in the three main rooms to allow visitors to quietly view the paintings.

"This center is related to our well-being initiatives," Greg Boardman, vice provost for student affairs, recently said during a departmental meeting. "It is a place to go and take a break from an intense day and be fulfilled."

Boardman is a member of a steering committee that has been planning the center for the past year and a half. He said committee members have been wrestling with such issues as security and access, given the value of the Oliveira works. All are part of his Windhover series, which were inspired by birds in flight. Boardman said the committee decided to make the center accessible only with a Stanford ID. It will be open to faculty, staff and students. At this point, the hours are envisioned as 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.