A rendering of the
proposed changes.

PRINCETON, N.J. - The Hun School of Princeton, a college preparatory school here, has received the go-ahead from township planners to build a 30,000-square-foot campus center on the school grounds to be called The Global Commons. Scott Landis, principal of The Landis Group – and a former Hun student – is spearheading the $8.5 million project.

“This will be the first new building at the school in 45 years,” Landis tells GlobeSt.com. “I was asked by headmaster to help him create a global commons multi-purpose building to transform the school. It’s a fantastic concept. I immediately said: ‘I’m in.’”

Landis, whose company built the landmark Carnegie Center in Princeton under the leadership of his father Alan, said over 70 % of the funding for the project was raised through private donations in a matter of six months.

Construction will begin shortly, and the building is expected to open in the fall of 2014. It will include a multi-purpose campus center – with a bookstore, snack bar and mail room – and dorm space or 56 resident students and four faculty apartments. Two new Global Studies classrooms will be equipped with the latest teleconferencing and computer technology, according to Landis.

“Our main goal is to prepare our students for the diverse world they will soon enter as adults,” said Headmaster Jonathan Brougham. “This center will be a hub of activity and will bring together the worlds of academic exploration and social interaction between students of diverse backgrounds and their teachers.”

Brougham said the high-tech classrooms, common rooms, and multi-purpose activities spaces, are designed to encourage technology-based work, group projects, and international communication. The center will serve as a gathering place for day and boarding students from around the world, he noted.

Landis said donations for construction have come in alumni in six countries so far.

The center is being designed by Philadelphia-based architectural design firm H2L2 and is the first in a series of planned campus additions and renovations.

The new dormitory rooms, common spaces, offices, and classrooms will allow for renovations to existing dormitory spaces, classrooms, and offices throughout the campus.

“All of these improvements will greatly enrich and enhance the overall learning experience here at The Hun School,” added Assistant Headmaster for Institutional Advancement Andrew Hamlin. “The Global Commons will enhance our global education offerings and our academic, residential and social facilities.  It will help us we better serve our student population by providing them with an exceptional foundation for future success.”

Founded in 1914, the Hun School counts such luminaries as author F. Scott Fitzgerald, CNN Headline News anchor and correspondent Susan HendricksAcademy-award-nominated actor Ethan Hawke, Saks Fifth Avenue founder John A. Saks, and former CEO of IBM and ambassador to Soviet Union under President Carter Thomas Watson, Jr. as distinguished alumni.