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The Barn Project

In taking the lead on this project, students embody the best of Hampshire’s educational philosophy: To know is not enough.

The Barn Project is a student initiative to create a building on campus that is by students and for students.

Read the Barn Project Brochure (pdf) »

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BarnWhen Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash moved into the President's house in 2010, he found a horse barn standing empty, left by his predecessor. Despite not having an immediate use for it, the President sensed an opportunity.

He contacted Professor Karen Koehler and the Rehamping student group to find a creative use for the barn. That meeting launched the current effort to create a central space on campus to foster student community and collaboration.

barn project community meetingIn 2010, a series of all community strategic planning sessions were held. The number one concern raised was a need for a central space on campus for students and student groups to meet and collaborate. When students follow their own courses of study, it can be challenging to connect with others on different paths.

Additionally, many of the gathering spaces on campus are in residential areas, used mainly by the students living there, or academic buildings, for students studying in those fields.

student working on the barn project

Without many spaces that bring students together, there is a need for more community centers across campus. The barn can address this need by offering a open, all-student gathering space.

For the past two years students have worked with faculty, staff, and administrators to create a campus-wide process to determine the best use and site. Now, with the support of the Hampshire Community as well as design and construction professionals, students are designing the building, with the intention of building this coming fall.

The new barn is being designed to re-purpose material from the existing structure. It will be sited next to our on-campus Community Garden, and will house Mixed Nuts, a decades-old student-run food co-op. These decisions were reached through a rigorous campus engagement process including multiple community process all-community meetings.

Naming of the Barn
The barn will be named the Roos-Rohde House in honor of Sig Roos 73F and Ruthie Rohde 75S, married Hampshire alums. This building will recognize their dedication and service to the school, and honor the conclusion of Sig’s term as chair of our board of trustees.

To view floor plans, site location, background information, and learn more about the community process, please read the Barn Project Brochure (pdf) »

Text by Karina Rosenstein 12F and Hester Tittmann 10F. Photo credit to RJ Sakai 08F and Hester Tittmann 10F


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