As the academic year began, major construction projects, some made possible by the successful completion in June of 1996 of The Campaign for Vassar College, were underway across the campus.  Two large projects, the Martha Rivers and E. Bronson Ingram Library addition and a new athletics building were supplemented by other projects, including improvements to the College Center and at Ferry House.  In addition to the 33,000 sqare foot Ingram addition, the Library project, expected to last at least two years, involved renovation and updating of all existing components of the Library.  To accommodate the work, which, according to Director of Libraries Sabrina Pape, would "bring the Library into the 21st century, some library functions such as the Reserve Room were moved within the Library, while others—cataloguing, acquisitions and interlibrary loan—were moved, along with about one third of the Library's holdings, to a 130,000 square foot Library Annex, a former IBM building on nearby Boardman Road.  A shuttle service promised a 24-hour delivery of any material requested from the annex.  "Vassar has really taken [efforts to retain access to books] a step further than many other schools," said Jordan Klein '99, a member of the Library Committee.  "It's still going to be inconvenient," he conceded, "but we're really working to minimize it."

The new athletic building, just north of Walker Fieldhouse and connected to in by a 100-foot glassed-in walkway, contained a new 1,200-seat wood-floor gymnasium with an elevated running track, a 5,000 square foot exercise room, a four-team locker room, along with laundry,office and trainers spaces.  A spacious atrium in the new building feature a new dining site, the "Atrium" juice bar.  "This is a huge step," said Athletic Director Andy Jennings, "moving us to the point where we want to be...the college realized the importance of providing [an athletics program] not only commensurate with our quality in academics, but also competitive with our peer institutions."  A subsequent phase of development for the athletics program included "the addition of three fields, a track and a baseball," said Jennings, along with improved crew facilities on the Hudson River.  Jennings called this development "a really positive step—we can now launch and store eights, and have a safer environment in which to row."

Projects at the College Center and Ferry House included the further development of College Center Circle—originally a parking area—into an outdoor gathering place for students and the replacment of asphalt paving from the area surrounding Ferry with the bluestone flag walks desgined in 1951 by the building's architect, Marcel Breuer, but never executed.     The Miscellany News