The Phase III renovations of MVR Hall have concluded and complete a comprehensive upgrade to nearly 120,000 square feet of this Georgian Revival style building originally built between 1931 and 1933. Among many improvements, the renovations open the flow of the building and showcase the interconnectedness of the Human Ecology community.
The upgrades are considered a commitment to the philosophy originally set for the College by Martha Van Rensselaer and the innovative, multi-disciplinary institution it has evolved into over time. The improvements enhance connectivity, circulation, space layout, and functionality. By enhancing the quality, productivity and overall experience in MVR Hall, the College strengthens its mission to improve lives into the future.
Human Ecology's multi-disciplinary style is a key aspect to its research and teaching, as well as a unique strength that attracts many faculty and students to study and work in the College. Certain design elements of the renovation were chosen to enhance this philosophy. The use of glass throughout the design, for example, creates views into the work taking place around the College. The placements of department main offices, meeting rooms and work rooms were carefully considered and positioned to promote engagement and opportunities for students, researchers and faculty to blend and mix.
The design of many historically significant spaces within the MVR Hall renovations has preserved and restored the original qualities of spaces while developing their use as more modern teaching and learning environments. Innovative, active learning spaces, such as the College's auditorium, will increase student engagement, foster higher information retention and a deeper understanding of course materials, compared to traditional classroom setting instruction.
The room will be able to transform into a space ideal for lectures, discussions, group presentations, team projects, and collaborative study. In the short term, its spacious size will lend well to creating teaching environments that respect social distancing protocols and maintain public health.
Move-in has begun, while paying critical attention to the Cornell campus reactivation plan and safety. In the near future, the College will provide a virtual tour of the new spaces as part of its ongoing celebration of this incredible achievement. Stay tuned for continued updates throughout the fall.