New London, CT Mitchell College, a residential liberal arts college, cut the ribbon on a new facility designed by Centerbrook Architects & Planners.
Known as the Red Barn, the building replaces a previous long-time working barn next door to the popular Michael’s Dairy. Reconstructed on the same footprint as the old barn, this new 4,800 s/f structure replicates the original exterior but has a new column-free interior that allows different uses.
The building will serve primarily as a central hub of campus activity with an open, flexible floor plan students can use as a common space. Movable furniture will allow the space to be reconfigured easily into theater arrangements or be transformed into a venue for lectures or catered events.
Mitchell envisioned the new Red Barn as a linkage to the surrounding community. That goal already has come to fruition with New London-based Flock Theatre Company’s commitment to use the Red Barn as its primary performance venue.
“The Red Barn is a symbol of the deep interconnection between Mitchell and New London,” said Janet Steinmayer, president of Mitchell College. “Our barn represents the power of the people coming together with a shared vision. Our overall goal has been that in the future Mitchell College will strengthen and help grow the community – and I think the Red Barn can help us do that.”
The Red Barn reimagined project was the first of multiple phases of Centerbrook’s campus master plan for Mitchell. The college is currently fundraising for the second phase, which includes improvements to the college’s athletic facilities.
“The master plan identified the Red Barn as one of many transformational projects for Mitchell College,” said Centerbrook principal Chad Floyd. “An iconic structure with the potential for benefiting students in many ways, the Red Barn was the perfect first step.”
The Red Barn project team included construction manager FIP Construction, e2 Engineers for structural engineering and Milone & MacBroom for civil engineering. For the performance space, Communications Design Associates served as the audiovisual and IT consultant along with Cavanaugh Tocci for lighting.