Newcomb office moves to Freret Street to prepare for demolition

Newcomb+House

Newcomb House

Abigail Mowen, Staff Reporter

The main office of the Newcomb College Institute moved at the beginning of the semester to a temporary location at 7025 Freret St., next to the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. The office will remain there for the length of the proposed construction of a new dining hall and home for Newcomb College Institute at the site of the house at 43 Newcomb Pl.
 
Then-President Scott Cowen announced a campus-wide construction project in April that included the demolition of the Newcomb College house to build The Commons, the new dining hall and home to NCI. 
 
Tulane withdrew demolition permits for 43 Newcomb Pl. in August. Sally Kenney, Executive Director of the Newcomb College Institute, said, however, the project will continue once the permits are approved. 
 
The Commons will be a four-story building and is estimated to cost around $50 million. One floor will be the home of The Newcomb College Institute, containing state-of-the-art classrooms, computer labs, meeting rooms and offices. A 1,100 seat dining area, which will replace the 450-seat Bruff Commons, will be spread out over the remaining three stories.
 
Kenney said the dining component of The Commons will take amenities to a new level.
 
Sophomore Allie Blum said she is excited for the project to move forward.
 
“I wish that we had something like that now,” Blum said. “I think that as most of us have gotten older, we have gotten more and more disillusioned with Bruff Commons.”

Sophomore Anna Sacks said she agreed.

“Bruff is tight on space and mostly freshmen,” Sacks said. “However, it sounds like The Commons would change that. I would definitely be more inclined to eat and hang out there.” 

Kenney said that the Newcomb College Institute’s growth and success makes it clear that a new home is needed to accommodate the increased demand for programming and services. At the moment, staff and programs are scattered among three buildings across campus. 
 
“I am most excited about the opportunity for the entire NCI to be together in one brand new, state of the art location that will allow the synergy of our students and staff to flourish,” Kenney said. “Finally, we have a rare opportunity to create a 21st-century Newcomb, to build on the legacy of the past by creating a building that anticipates the needs of the future.”
 
Kenney said that the demolition of 43 Newcomb Pl. is the ideal course of action, because moving it would disrupt its structural soundness. She said the process of acquiring a demolition permit has delayed the project for several months, and the estimated time of completion is unknown.