Dickinson College Allison Hall Student Activity Center Design Study

Allison Hall, a former Congregational Church, was purchased by Dickinson College in 2012. Located on the edge of main campus, the building offered tremendous potential to escalate the student’s out-of-classroom experience and provide a vital new social space away from the main campus center. In 2014, the Allison Hall Working Group retained Stegman+Associates to lead the programming and conceptual design process. After considering multiple programmatic possibilities, the working group selected a program that includes the following:

The Great Hall: An expanded stage area to allow for a range of performances currently not supported in other campus buildings. Adjacent support spaces include Green Room, Event Reception Space, and Dressing Rooms
Community Room: The program includes enhanced ceiling-scape, new lighting, enhanced stage area, adjacent support spaces, break-out rooms, storage, student kitchen
Campus Living Room: An area with soft seating, a student operated café area and outdoor terrace
Student Rehearsal Space: Ensemble rehearsal space on the ground floor, music lesson rooms all designed for programmatic flexibility, and use by multiple groups
Student Campus Engagement Offices: The program includes staff offices, student offices, and meeting rooms
Student Club Spaces: For groups including the student organizational board, student newspaper, student yearbook, student magazine, student entrepreneurship and innovation group

The program is intended to make Allison Hall a new student engagement center on campus, inviting students into the building both formally (for musical performances, for example), and informally (to hang out in the living room, the student micro room, or the TV room). Several academic departments had representation on the working group, and the program reflects their input. Finally, the program is meant to allow for growth and change over time, by creating flexible spaces that can be used by multiple campus constituents.