Faculty Housing and the Institute

June 27, 2022

Dear all,

I am writing to share updates on two important construction projects: faculty housing and the Vassar Institute for the Liberal Arts.

We are progressing on the 40-apartment building, which is being erected along Hooker Avenue near the Watson Apartments. Site preparation and excavation for the foundation of the building is complete, and over the summer the building footings and foundation will be poured. We anticipate the project to be complete and the apartments ready for occupancy in the late summer of 2023. During this time, Dean Begemann will keep the neighbors informed of progress.

Once complete, the new apartments will both replace the 22 Williams apartments that were removed and make available an additional 18 apartments to the faculty housing program. This new housing makes it easier for faculty to live near campus, fostering interactions with students and providing support for the strong community that makes Vassar not just a campus, but a home.

In terms of the Institute for the Liberal Arts, all approvals have been secured, and construction is expected to begin in July. As you know, the Institute will be a multi-functional space to convene scholars and thought leaders from Vassar, Poughkeepsie, the region, and around the globe—reflecting the intellectual and creative work of the College and community partners. The project shares the deep commitment to sustainability that has become part of the fabric and education at Vassar. The building will be carbon neutral, utilizing geothermal and solar energy, and other sustainable features. I am thankful to the Institute for the Liberal Arts Committee, who formulated the mission as follows:

The Institute for the Liberal Arts is Vassar's public classroom: a forum for intellectual engagement through programming that ranges from established modes of academic inquiry to path-breaking collaborations among Vassar, our region, and the globe.

We are working on a detailed construction timeline, which will be available soon on the Vassar facilities operations website. The timeline will be updated regularly, so everyone can follow along with the progress made. We expect work to begin this summer, and the project is targeted to be complete, and the Institute opened, in Spring/Summer of 2024.

Any major construction project is disruptive. We will do everything possible to minimize disturbances to the extent possible and will seek to provide advance notice of major occurrences.

The College has conserved in perpetuity much of the lawn in front of Alumnae House, and it will be returned to its current state after geothermal wells are installed and construction is complete. In the meantime, the College has arranged for the Farmers’ Market to continue near Vassar’s North Lot, providing adequate parking in the late afternoon when the Farmer’s Market is busiest.

Prior to the start of construction, in early July we will meet with Institute neighbors to discuss the plan and expected activity during the next several months. In addition to the facilities website, to provide a further resource, at the meeting we will introduce our neighbors to a project liaison, who will be their contact for questions throughout construction. While the project is ongoing, we will hold periodic meetings with our neighbors to keep them informed and hear about concerns.

I will continue to provide updates regularly. Thank you for your support.

Elizabeth H. Bradley, President
Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604