Humanities building to undergo major renovation; to be renamed Karp Hall

Publication Date

An artist's rendering of the lobby at Karp Hall.

Beginning in early January, Union College will undertake a major renovation of the Humanities building with the goal of greatly enhancing the educational environment for students and faculty. The building will be renamed Karp Hall.

A lead gift from the Karp Family Foundation will support the project, which will include electronic multi-media classrooms, a seminar room, a media lab and a performance classroom that will facilitate staging components such as dramatic readings as part of the classroom experience.

The project also includes extensive improvements to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems that will be more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. The total cost of the renovations will be $7 million. The architect is McKinney and MacDonald of Latham, N.Y.

"This is an important project for Union College. It will renovate one of our most heavily used academic buildings and it affirms the importance we attach to the humanities," said President Stephen C. Ainlay. "We are deeply indebted to the Karp family for their continuing support of the College."

Opened in 1965, the three-story, 21,000-square-foot building houses classrooms and offices for nearly 40 faculty members in the departments of English and Modern Languages and Literatures.

Renovations are expected to be completed by November. During the project, faculty offices and classes for the two departments will be shifted to other campus buildings.

The renovations to Humanities are the latest project to transform the College's historic landscape.

This fall, the College dedicated the Wicker Wellness Center, a two-story, 6,600-square foot building adjacent to Alumni Gym that is the new home of Health Services and the Counseling Center.

And last spring, the College opened the Henle Dance Pavilion, a home for classes, rehearsals, workshops, performances and other events. The $3 million, 7,000-square-foot facility is adjacent to Yulman Theater overlooking Jackson’s Garden.

Other recent projects have included the Peter Irving Wold Center, a $22 million research and education facility, and a major renovation of the former Social Sciences building, which was renamed Lippman Hall.