Work Begins on Champlain Center for Communications and Creative Media

View of entry to new CCM building.

Champlain College officials broke ground today on the $24.5 million Center for Communication and Creative Media (CCM) project which will provide students and faculty state-of-the-art facilities for current and emerging fields of study and serve as a campus center for student services.

Champlain's Division of Communications and Creative Media is the largest division of the College's four focus areas, offering innovative undergraduate programs in video game art, animation, and design, filmmaking, broadcasting, professional writing, graphic design, creative media, interaction design, sonic arts, public relations, and communication, as well as two graduate programs in emergent media.

Groundbreaking for CCMThe CCM project, located next to Hauke Family Center off Maple Street, "is a transformational project for the College that will forever change the entrance to campus," said President David F. Finney. "Individuals from all over the world will enter and be transformed and — in return —will leave through those same doors and transform the world," he added.

CCM Dean Paula Willoquet-Maricondi noted that "The new building will dramatically enhance our ability to attract top students and faculty to Champlain for our communication and creative media majors. There will be new game and audio labs, studio spaces, gallery and exhibit areas, a traditional and digital photo lab, a film soundstage and more room to collaborate. The new space will further strengthen many of our values — fostering creativity and imagination, advancing artistic exploration, and respecting and challenging each other to create a better life."

The Champlain Board of Trustees gave its final approval to the project two months ago and site preparation began earlier this month. When completed in August 2015, the expanded and renovated structures will have a combined gross floor area of approximately 75,000 square feet.

Colin Lindberg Architects, AIA is continuing a long association with the College in designing the CCM building. The Hauke Family Center and Alumni Auditorium were designed under Lindberg's direction and built in 1989. H. P. Cummings Construction has been selected as construction manager for the project.

David Provost, senior vice president for Finance & Administration, said the CCM building is part of the College's master plan to provide each of the divisions with its own home building. "This is going to be the crown jewel of President Finney's vision for the campus. The design and look of the building is going to inspire innovation and reflect Champlain's place in the forefront of technology and education," he said.

A major gift from Robert and Christine Stiller through the Stiller Family Foundation will help fund capital investments in the new Center for Communications and Creative Media. The new facility will free up space in the S.D. Ireland Family Center for Global Business and Technology so that all the Stiller School of Business faculty and programs can be located there.

The College received a $2 million gift from Sodexo to support the new CCM project. Sodexo is the contracted supplier of food for the campus cafeteria and catering on campus.

Sabrina Parker, a first-year creative media student from Huntingtown, Maryland, says she is looking forward to the completion of the new CCM facility. "This building will stand strong and tall among all others and ingenuity and creativity will be concentrated where everyone can work together to bring new — and innovative ideas — that will launch our programs to the forefront of our field," she said.

According to John Caulo, associate vice president of Campus Planning, in addition to becoming the new academic home for the CCM division, the building will also serve several other strategic initiatives that will benefit the campus at large, including:

  • Inside plan for dining area.Transit Center: It will be the primary transit portal for the campus, providing the College shuttle bus access between the main campus and its remote parking facility located along Lakeside Avenue. The main level of the building will contain a lounge area with seating, and food and beverage services.
  • Retail Store / Mail Service: The main level will be home to the campus mailroom and a retail store for sundries and college-branded merchandise and books.
  • Dining and Events Center: A second dining facility within the CCM building will meet the additional needs from an increased on-campus undergraduate residential population (275 new on-campus dormitory beds. It will also features a large conference room (capacity: approximately 300 persons) for a variety of academic and social functions.
  • Alumni Auditorium upgrades: The project includes improvements to Alumni Auditorium, a 200-seat theater/lecture hall, including new seating, lighting, HVAC, and audio-visual systems.
  • Hauke Center upgrades: As part of the CCM Project, the original Hauke Center will receive upgrades to its HVAC system, thermal envelope and finishes.
  • Energy Efficiency: Consistent with its mission to embrace sustainable technologies in the design, construction and operation of its campus facilities, the College will be expanding its use of geothermal energy to heat and cool the new CCM building. The project includes an extension of its geothermal infrastructure (well head production and piping) to accomplish this goal. Champlain College has set a 'green' design goal on this project of achieving Three Globes under the Green Globes rating system. This third-party certification program is run by The Green Building Initiative. Positioned as an alternative to USGBC's LEED program, it uses a checklist approach, granting projects points for areas in which they exceed standard industry practice. The system is more broadly adopted within Canada where it originated, but is building a market presence in the United States. To our knowledge, this will be the first Green Globes project within Vermont. A rating of Three Globes is viewed to be similar to a Gold target under the LEED system.

The construction project requires some classrooms in Hauke Center to be relocated until completion of the new building. Game design computer labs are now housed in new classrooms in Joyce Learning Center where the bookstore was located. The bookstore is currently in Durick Hall on South Willard Street, across from Skiff Hall, until it moves to the CCM building.

The shuttle bus stop, connecting the main campus with the Miller Lakeside Center campus on Lakeside Avenue, has moved from the Bader parking lot to Aiken Hall on the corner of Maple and Summit Streets.

Two New Residence Halls to Open in August 2014

Just a block away down Maple Street, construction is well-underway on two residence halls to complete the Res-Tri Project. The halls (each named for islands in Lake Champlain), Butler and Valcour, will join Juniper Hall (which opened in August 2012) in providing a new residentially-focused section of campus.

A cornerstone of Champlain College's master plan is to eventually house 90 percent of the college's student body on campus. The Res Tri Project is the next significant component in attaining the goals of the plan.

The primary architect is CBT Architects, a Boston-based professional design firm providing services in architecture, interior design and urban design. The project is managed by PC Construction.

The Res Tri Project also includes creating green space, landscaping, and a promenade in the area bounded by Main Street, South Willard Street, Maple Street and Edmunds School on the 4.66 acre site. A central promenade from Main Street to Perry Hall provides access to classrooms, dining halls, residence halls and administrative offices. The promenade creates an internal student walkway that will draw students off the public sidewalks to an internal campus environment.

The final phase of construction began in spring 2013. The project includes the construction of two steel frame, brick veneer dormitories (Butler and Valcour Hall) and related site work on land near the buildings of Skiff, Whiting and McDonald Halls. When completed, Butler Hall will have a GSF of 26,532 and contain 89 beds. Valcour Hall will have a GSF of 29,947 and contain 91 beds. All three dorms are slated for LEED Gold certification.

In addition, a full renovation of Whiting Hall began earlier this month and is expected to be complete for fall of 2014. The Student Health Center has relocated to a temporary site next to Skiff Hall and will return to the lower level of the residence hall at the completion of the project.

For more information about Champlain College facilities and ongoing projects, visit

PHOTOS available of the groundbreaking ceremony.

DRAWINGS of the building are also available.

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit