Hopkins Center Expansion On Schedule

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Demolition is mostly finished as foundation work begins.

Construction work at the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth.
A construction worker sprays water to reduce dust during demolition last month at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, which is undergoing a major expansion and renovation. (Photo by Chad Morig)

The renovation and expansion of the Hopkins Center for the Arts enters a new phase this summer as demolition wraps up and work on the foundation begins.

Demolition is about 90% complete, according to Senior Project Manager Chad Morig. During the spring term, workers removed seating from Spaulding Auditorium and other venues, along with other work in the building. Demolition of the roof of Alumni Hall began in June—a process Morig says will culminate in the removal of the concrete beams, which will require a large crane on site in early August.

The sidewalk running from East Wheelock Street to Lebanon Street, between the Hop and the Hood Museum of Art, is temporarily closed for work on electricity that will feed the building. The Hop’s Courtyard Café is closed for the summer but will reopen in the fall.

The $89 million project—the first major revitalization of the Hop since the building opened in 1962—began in winter 2023 and is on track to be completed in 2025. The work is being undertaken by Consigli Construction Co.

The Advancement division has produced a video about the project.

A rendering of the north facade of the Hopkins Center for the Arts.
A rendering of the north facade of the Hopkins Center for the Arts includes a new wing for arts programs. (Courtesy of Snøhetta and Methanoia)

The Hop’s transformation is being designed by internationally renowned firm Snøhetta. The new spaces will complement the original architecture designed by Wallace K. Harrison—maintaining the iconic arches, the Top of the Hop, Moore Theater, Spaulding Auditorium, and Warner Bentley Theater—while dramatically enhancing the Hop’s capacity as a center for artistic expression. In total, the project will add approximately 15,000 square feet for performance, collaboration, and gathering, and update about 55,000 square feet of existing space.

The design emphasizes accessibility and increased performance, practice, and gathering space. Among the features: a new entrance forum and a reconfigured Top of the Hop. A new recital hall overlooking the Green will accommodate classes, rehearsals, and performances, and Alumni Hall will become a state-of-the-art performance lab equipped to realize the visions of contemporary experimental artists. For the first time, students will have a dedicated professional-caliber dance studio, and the acoustics in the Hop’s flexible collaborative workspaces will be enhanced, expanding their capacity.

While construction is underway, the arts continue in venues around campus and the Upper Valley. Upcoming events include the Hop-commissioned NOISE (a musical), written by Assistant Professor of Music César Alvarez and performed at Northern Stage in White River Junction, Vt.; a concert on the Green featuring Ukrainian folk quartet DakhaBrakha; the Burlington Taiko Drummers, also performing on the Green; and work-in-progress theatrical readings by the New York Theater Workshop at Currier Place.

More information on the project is available at Hop Project Happenings.

And follow the progress through two webcams overlooking the Hop site, one from the north, one from the south.

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