Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Construction on Cherrington Hall additions under way

The Cherrington Global Scholars program sends DU students to the world; two new additions to Cherrington Hall will bring the world to DU.

Bustling on the building’s south side are construction crews hard at work creating a distinctive 5,460-square-foot office and classroom annex, and a 1,656-square-foot office and video-conference complex west of that.

When completed this summer, the main annex will house the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. The west addition will house the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures, a project that uses computers to analyze and forecast global trends and developments.

“It’ll be nice to have some space,” says Professor Barry Hughes, who directs the Pardee Center.

The Sié Chéou-Kang Center will identify rising stars in the intelligence community, military and diplomatic corps of key Asian states and the United States and invite them to DU for two or three-week bursts of medium- and long-range strategic planning, says Tom Farer, dean of the Korbel school.

The Sié Center also is aimed at establishing itself as a magnet for the nation’s brightest students, who will serve as junior research fellows and implement other tasks related to the new center.

Scheduled completion of the additions is mid-August, but the formal dedication will be Aug. 7. The date was chosen to coincide with the birthday of Sié Chéou-Kang, father of principal donor John Sie.

The Sié Center is the outcome of a recent effort to expand connections with Asia that kicked off in 2006 with the announcement of a new think tank for establishing environmental dialogue between the United States and China. Since then, the concept has embraced security concerns and evolved into an initiative unlike anything in the nation, Farer says.

All this will unfold as a $3.5 million construction element designed to harmonize with the DU campus while reminding admirers of Asian styling.

“What we are trying to do is pick and choose elements that pull the building closer to DU while at the same time take advantage of long-standing approaches to architecture that Asian cultures have practiced for hundreds of years,” says University Architect Mark Rodgers.

Among distinctive elements will be a stone exterior, and references to traditional Asian architecture include a roof of blue-glazed Japanese tiles and a courtyard garden of rock forms focused on a magnolia tree, Rodgers says.

“We’re extending the architectural motif of the original building while embracing some of the precepts of Asian architecture,” he says.

The additions are being built to LEED standards, Rodgers says, and also will provide significant enhancements to the heating, cooling and fresh air systems in Cherrington Hall.

“(Cherrington) was built at a time when windows were inoperable, so the only way you could bring in fresh air was to open the doors, which have air locks,” Rodgers says. “The addition will have operable windows.”

A further distinctive feature will be an experimental “minimal-water garden” on the lawn southwest of the new additions, which Rodgers says will serve as a test on how the University landscape can best thrive without relying as much on irrigated lawns.

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