Lawrence Campus West Rendering
The building that will rise at 315 E. College Avenue is designed by Frederick Fisher and Partners, in partnership with Boldt.

Lawrence University is the recipient of a $10 million gift from an alum and spouse to support the construction of a building on the west edge of campus that will add more than 30,000 square feet of innovative academic space and provide flexibility for future enrollment growth. 

The 315 E. College Avenue development, unveiled in August in partnership with the Trout Museum of Art, will bolster Lawrence’s offerings in the humanities and its growing mathematics, statistics, and computer science programs, plus space for the Conservatory of Music. The facility supports the university’s goal of enhancing pathways to greater community and career collaborations. 

Lawrence’s academic space on the second floor of the four-story building will include soundproof offices for Conservatory faculty and offices and modern classrooms for the Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science Department. It will include an innovative teaching and co-curricular commons, where students will engage in both formal and experiential learning in varying disciplines. And it will be home to the Humanities Center, an intellectual collaborative for faculty, students, and scholars-in-residence.

The $10 million gift is the third largest in Lawrence’s history. The donors have asked to remain anonymous. 

“The generosity of the donors is deeply appreciated,” President Laurie A. Carter said. “It speaks to their belief in the transformative power of a Lawrence education. And it speaks to the lifelong connections our alumni have with this institution and their willingness to pay it forward for the benefit of current and future Lawrence students.” 

The gift comes as Lawrence and the Trout Museum of Art release the exterior rendering of the building, showcasing the vibrant architecture that will remake the 300 block of E. College Avenue. Construction will begin soon on the four-story building at the intersection of College Avenue and Drew Street, estimated to cost $38 million. The building is designed by Frederick Fisher and Partners, in partnership with Boldt. 

The donors called the 315 building a key piece of a “really strong strategic plan to position Lawrence for the future.” 

The donors said they had planned to leave a legacy gift to Lawrence in their will; they decided to accelerate their giving because they are strong believers in the strategic plan developed by Carter and her administration in conjunction with the Board of Trustees. 

“Our message is that now is the time,” the alum said.  “Lawrence will benefit more, and the gift will have more impact, if we give it now.” 

The building, more than 100,000 square feet over four floors, will be Lawrence’s first new major building project since construction of Warch Campus Center in 2009. The nonprofit art museum will be on the first floor, with state-of-the-art academic spaces for Lawrence on the second floor. The upper floors will feature market-rate apartments, space that could one day be converted to student housing to meet future needs. It will be built by Boldt and jointly owned by Lawrence and the Trout Museum of Art, with Lawrence controlling the upper three floors and the art museum the ground floor. 

The $10 million gift is an important initial step in Lawrence’s fund-raising for its portion of the development.