The Julia Rogers Building

Until the spring of 2009, the Julia Rogers building served as home to Goucher College’s library, known as the Julia Rogers Library. With the completion of the Athenaeum, the library moved to its new location in the middle of campus in 2009. Originally built in 1952 as part of the initial Towson campus construction and added onto in 1968, the Julia Rogers building served the college for more than 50 years. The vacated building had 61,900 gross square feet with about 39,490 net usable square feet that received major renovations to transform it into academic space, now called the Academic Center at Julia Rogers.

The Project

The Julia Rogers building provided the best solution to the academic and space needs created by our increased numbers of students and faculty, but it was in dire need of renovation. It is a steel frame building with an exterior skin of concrete block and locally quarried stone construction. While the basic building structure was sound and important to the history of the college, the building’s infrastructure was no longer useful, and the systems needed to be replaced.

The facility was inadequate for the following reasons:

  • The layout of the building functioned well as a library, but major renovations were needed to convert it to classroom, laboratory, and office space.

  • The building was heated using a steam boiler system, part of which was original to the building. It had been problematic, was highly inefficient, and was expensive to maintain. It no longer functioned properly and need to be replaced.

  • Air conditioning was added to one part of the building in 1968. That system needs to be replaced because it was unreliable and inefficient. Air conditioning needed to be extended to the rest of the building.

  • The electrical system was original and needed to be upgraded to support teaching and state-of-the-art technology.


Renovation Program

The renovation for the Julia Rogers building provided 16 classrooms and teaching labs, including advanced teaching labs for physics and computer science; 10 conference and seminar rooms; 77 offices for full-time faculty; and 15 faculty research labs for math, physics, and psychology faculty. In addition, moving math, physics, and psychology out of the Hoffberger building allowed the expansion of biology chemistry and the post-baccalaureate pre-med program into the vacated space, and it provided a location in which to house the new environmental studies program. Additionally, the shifting of space freed up much-needed office and classroom space for the Art and Music departments in Hoffberger and Van Meter. The program also allowed the consolidation of various academic departments’ offices, supporting the relationships between departmental faculty members, with colleagues faculty members from related departments, and most importantly, with students.

The most essential aspect of the renovation was the addition of office space, classrooms, and laboratories, but the project had added benefits for Goucher as well. For example, the renovation gave us a new entry point to the academic quad on campus. This area of campus was problematic in terms of proximity to handicapped parking, and it was not easily navigated by someone using a wheelchair. The Julia Rogers building also sits between the Van Meter building, where most of the humanities and social science offices and classrooms are located, and the Hoffberger building, where all of the sciences are housed. Because of the former library’s security needs, the only point of public access was at the center of the building. With the renovation, however, both ends of the building have now been opened, connecting directly to Van Meter and creating close access to Hoffberger. With its renovation and new uses, this building provided the opportunity to weave together the science and liberal arts disciplines on our academic quad. This provides a synergy on campus that will benefit both students and faculty for years to come.

The reuse of the Julia Rogers building was also the most sustainable solution for the college, as opposed to new construction, which supports Goucher’s commitment to build and renovate in a more environmentally conscious way on campus. In accordance with a 2009 campus policy, Goucher completed this renovation with the goal of at least achieving a Silver rating according to the US. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green-Building Rating System.

TOTAL COST: $26,000,000

Financing Plan

Money raised during Goucher's last capital campaign was combined with a state grant for $3 million, donations from corporations for $1 million, and private foundations for $2 million. The remaining monies will be obtained through fundraising efforts. Goucher’s dedicated alumnae/i and friends are known to be generous, especially when the cause involves efforts that will enhance the academic experience.

Click here to support the Julia Rogers project.