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pei residence halls

Florida college launches $15 million fundraising campaign to refurbish aging residence halls

Jan. 29, 2021
Noted architect I.M. Pei designed the residence halls at New College of Florida in Sarasota.

New College of Florida in Sarasota has launched a $15 million fundraising campaign to refurbish the school's residence halls designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei.

The college says in a news release that money raised by the "Pei for the Future" campaign will be used to replace roofs, seal buildings against water intrusion, install new cooling and heating systems, renew the courtyards, and renovate and upgrade the residence hall rooms.

“After 55 years, Pei’s iconic structures are showing their age,” says Monica Van Buskirk, a board member of the college foundation and a leader of the campaign. “We are inviting New College alumni, our community and beyond to participate in preserving this extraordinary architectural legacy. I.M. Pei built for the future."

In 1963, after a national competition, New College’s architect selection committee chose Pei to create a vision for the nascent campus. The boldly geometric, cantilevered structures he designed include the Pei Residence Halls and the Hamilton Student Center.

Pei’s graceful, modernist design of the student housing follow the pattern of a Mediterranean village: three pavilions with interior courts clustered around a central gathering space sheltered by geometric rows of palm trees.

The student center is a low-slung, cantilevered structure, protected from sun and rain with a long, concrete projection at the entrance.

“This is a critical need, and we need to act quickly,” Van Buskirk says. “Time and the buildings’ proximity to the water has not been kind. Pei’s New College structures are priceless jewels in our region’s architectural legacy. Thanks to this campaign, they will shine once more.”

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