Randolph-Macon College President Robert R. Lindgren announces the opening of the campus’s newest addition—a two-story, 26,000-square-foot student center, Brock Commons.
On Commencement Day, June 1, 2013, graduates and their families enjoyed tours of the impressive building, which houses a theater, coffee shop, campus store, café, student mailroom and spacious multi-purpose rooms.
Construction of Brock Commons was made possible through a $5 million gift from Joan and Macon F. Brock Jr. ’64 as well the generous support of the Birdsong family and numerous alumni and friends of the college.
“This extraordinary building is an example of what’s possible through the generosity of others,” says R-MC President Robert R. Lindgren. “Brock Commons is the heart of the campus where students can gather to enjoy socializing and engaging with their peers. I join the R-MC community in celebrating this beautiful addition to the campus and thank everyone who made this new facility possible.”
The all-brick Brock Commons, designed by Marcellus Wright Cox Architects and built by English Construction, features arched windows, keystones, and stately columns at its entrance. Designed to complement R-MC’s other buildings, the first floor includes a spacious, two-story atrium and a game room. The second floor boasts a stunning balcony that overlooks the Frank E. Brown Fountain Plaza, the site of the college’s Commencement ceremony. The second floor also serves as the hub for Student Life, providing office space for student organizations, several student meeting rooms, a large conference room for the Student Government Association, and staff offices to give students a central location for student services.
About Brock CommonsCampus StoreWalk into the new Campus Store and it’s easy to see what the buzz is about. Yellow Jacket pride is everywhere in the store—from the large assortment of lemon-and-black clothing and accessories to the carefully-arranged textbooks on the second floor.
Campus Store Manager Barclay DuPriest says the new space is a “long-awaited dream come true. We are so excited about being able to serve the R-MC community in such an attractive and welcoming new store. And, as we get unpacked and more organized, it’s only going to get better.”
SunTrust TheaterThe 100-seat SunTrust Theater is a welcome addition to campus. The theater’s comfortable seating and large screen make for an inviting movie-going experience and provides a venue for other types of entertainment or lectures. The theater is named in recognition of the generous financial support of SunTrust Bank.
Dollar Tree Community RoomLarge windows in The Dollar Tree Community Room offer guests a great view of the picturesque campus. The room can accommodate approximately 100 guests and will be used for a variety of purposes, including seminars, dinners, receptions and meetings. The room was named for Dollar Tree, Inc., who made a significant gift in honor of their founder and Board Chairman, Macon Brock Jr. ’64.
Birdsong CaféThe Birdsong Café, a 93-seat venue, will offer snacks, sandwiches and other items beginning in fall 2013. The Café will offer a variety of dining options in addition to those offered in Estes Dining Hall. Construction of the Café was made possible through the generosity of Constance and Thomas Birdsong ’49 and The Birdsong Corporation.
The Thomas H. Maeder ’66 Fire PitThe Thomas H. Maeder ’66 Fire Pit, located just outside the Birdsong Café, will be available for student gatherings. The Fire Pit was named in Maeder’s honor by his friends Ann and Buddy Allen ’62. The patio is paved with beautiful bluestone pavers, and the pit is veneered in brick. The natural-gas burners will be surrounded by crushed, recycled glass.
A dedication of the Fire Pit will take place on July 24, 2013 and will also serve as a celebration of Maeder’s life; he passed away on July 2.
Greenberry’s CoffeeGreenberry’s Coffee offers freshly-ground coffee, lattes, espresso, shakes, and all-natural fruit smoothies. Operated by Chartwells, Grenberry’s Coffee is open 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. during the summer, with expanded hours beginning in fall 2013.
ArtworkSeveral pieces of original artwork from alumni Mitchell Johnson ’86, Duane Keiser ’88, Stacey Redford Salazar ’89, and Professor Raymond Berry adorn the walls the Brock Commons. These pieces add vibrancy to the interior and reflect the high caliber of artistic talent among our alumni and faculty. Two of Johnson’s pieces were donated in honor of two faculty members who greatly influenced Johnson while he was a student at R-MC: Professors John Rabung (computer science) and Raymond Berry (studio art).
LEED CertificationBrock Commons will achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in fall 2013.
“Brock Commons is designed to use as much natural daylight as possible to reduce the need for artificial light during the day,” says Mark Brabham, assistant director of project management. “The building also includes the latest LED fixtures and efficient HVAC, plus recycled materials and regionally-sourced materials.”
“Over 75 percent of all waste caused by the demolition of the old student center and the construction of this new building has been recycled,” says Dean of Students Grant Azdell. “In addition, the fixtures used in Brock Commons will reduce water consumption.”
Dedication CeremonyNew freshmen and their families got a firsthand view of Brock Commons during this year’s Student Orientation—the first official event held in the new building. A dedication and official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held during Family Weekend on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.