HMC Completes Innovative, Energy-Efficient Teaching & Learning Center

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Harvey Mudd College’s new academic building, designed to support its unique blend of collaborative, interdisciplinary teaching and learning, is now complete and has been named the R. Michael Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning.

The College’s board of trustees unanimously voted to name the building in honor of Mike Shanahan, chairman emeritus of Capital Research and Management Company, in recognition of his and his wife Mary’s incredible generosity, as well as for his leadership and dedication as a longtime friend and trustee of the College. Mr. Shanahan has served as a trustee since 1992 and was chair of the board from 1998 to 2006.

“The Shanahans remain deeply committed to the College and its mission, and we are profoundly grateful for their support and vision,” said President Maria Klawe.

The board’s vote represents the culmination of four years of careful planning and community discussion, along with the HMC community’s commitment to advance what the College does best—educate leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who understand the impact of their work on society.

Designed by Boora Architects and built by MATT Construction, the building occupies the space of HMC’s first classroom building, the former 9,000-square-foot Thomas-Garrett Hall, which was utilized from 1961 to 2011. The Shanahan Center, a modern and architecturally inspiring 70,000-square-foot academic building, provides flexible and technologically-advanced classrooms, lecture halls, faculty offices and public spaces to support the widest range of pedagogies and learning styles.

The structure’s forward-looking design exceeds the criteria of the President’s Climate Commitment, signed by Klawe in 2008. This commitment requires that all new campus construction meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard or its equivalent. The Shanahan Center is targeting LEED Gold certification.

Sustainable aspects of the new building include daylighting strategies—abundant glazing, sunshades and light shelves—plus natural ventilation and radiant passive chilled beams. Exterior circulation takes advantage of the temperate, Southern California climate. The building’s landscape design includes native and drought-tolerant plants, and its rooftop is prewired for the future installation of solar panels.

The building has already welcomed some of its new occupants, including the Department of Mathematics, the Office of Admission and Financial Aid, and the Office of the President. The first classes will be held there Sept. 3, when fall semester begins and Harvey Mudd’s 800 students fill the campus. A formal dedication ceremony is planned for Sept. 28.