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Stanford Report, April 12, 2000

Humanities Center to move to Bowman House; new building for Career Development Center

The Stanford Humanities Center will relocate to the building now known as Bowman Alumni House next year, part of a chain reaction being caused by the upcoming move of the Alumni Association into its new building on Galvez Street.

The freeing-up of the Bowman building will, directly and indirectly, help a variety of other programs with perennial space needs. They include the Career Development Center and the Disability Resource Center, which are expected to be housed in a newly constructed building by summer 2002. At its meeting Tuesday, the Board of Trustees gave conceptual approval of plans for the new building.

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Provost John Hennessy said he is particularly pleased with the plans for the Humanities Center.

"The Humanities Center is one of the hidden gems of Stanford's interdisciplinary academic program. The move to the prime location offered by Bowman not only gives the center a higher profile, it brings greater emphasis to the presence of the humanities at Stanford," Hennessy said. "Bowman will be a perfect setting for the center's lectures, conferences and colloquia and, I believe, will provide a wonderful new home for faculty, fellows and students."

Constructed in 1952 and nestled among oak trees, Bowman House is well liked on campus, said Jean Barnes, associate director of capital planning and management. It also is conveniently located in the central campus and adjacent to the Faculty Club.

The Alumni Association is expected to vacate Bowman for its new building on Galvez Street in January, Barnes said. At that point, modest renovations to Bowman will begin, including the creation of offices for humanities scholars on the second floor. She expects the Humanities Center will occupy Bowman in June 2001.

"One of the great things about Bowman is that it will allow us to have all our fellows and staff under one roof," said Keith Baker, director of the Humanities Center and associate dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences.

The new facility will allow for more interaction among the center's approximately 30 fellows and also provide a much-needed new 80-person lecture hall for humanities programs, Baker said.

"It's terrific the provost decided Bowman was the right home for the Humanities Center. It's a wonderful central location ­ both symbolically and geographically," Baker said.

The Humanities Center's move will cause a few more dominoes to fall, because the center is currently spread across three houses: Mariposa House, Rogers House and the Humanities Center Annex.

The Rogers House will become, in summer 2001, the new home of The Bridge, the peer counseling center. And The Bridge's move will allow its current structure, which is in disrepair, to be demolished to make room for the new facility that will be built for the Career Development Center and the Disability Resource Center.

The current Career Development Center is a building of unreinforced masonry that does not meet today's standards for seismic safety, and the Disability Resource Center lacks adequate space, officials said.

The new building, at Salvatierra Walk and Campus Drive East across from the Haas Center, is expected to be ready for use in the summer of 2002.

"The new facility will provide us with the ability to improve our current programs to better serve Stanford students," said Robert Thirsk, director of the Career Development Center. "A significant side benefit of the new CDC location will be our close proximity to the Haas Center, which is a major CDC programming partner," he added.

The CDC provides a variety of services to the undergraduate and graduate student population at Stanford, including career counseling, career resources, workshops, internship and job listings, on-campus interviews with prospective employers, and career fairs. The current building does not comply with access standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Thirsk said.

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) provides legally mandated academic and other accommodations to undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities. The program currently occupies approximately 1,100 square feet in Meyer Library, which is insufficient for current program needs, and the space also does not meet standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"The DRC staff is very excited to have a new structure on campus that will be a model of universal access," said Joan Bisagno, DRC director.

"I am very pleased that students will have this new facility, which will improve the capacity of the CDC and the DRC to serve them," said James Montoya, vice provost for student affairs. "Both of these services are important in their own right, but having them in the same building and in close proximity to the Haas Center creates new opportunities for collaboration," he said.

Construction of the new facility is expected to begin in June 2001.

"While the CDC and the DRC will not occupy the same central location on campus, the improvement in our ability to serve all students with this new building will minimize any negative impact caused as a result of site relocation," Thirsk said. "Students will find the new facility attractive, easily accessible and functionally better able to meet their programmatic needs," he added.

Bisagno said users of the DRC "will be pleased to have a spacious, well-designed office that includes separate work areas, individual rooms and a conference room." SR