A new “buddy building” makes possible the preservation of the oldest building on campus, and provides office and instructional space for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts and a new student commons. The heart of the building is a three-story skylit commons, envisioned as a meeting and event space. It is bounded by the original, 1885 building and the new addition, and ringed with instructional space at ground level. Circulation and utility cores in the new wing provide needed services to bring the historic building up to code and provide accessibility to all levels. New entrances join three levels of the campus to the central atrium, reinforcing the goals of the campus master plan. Instructional spaces on lower levels can be reconfigured to accommodate a variety of teaching and learning styles. Upper floors house academic offices organized around central departmental offices and seminar rooms. Plans are designed to accommodate future changes in department size. A two-story graduate student commons on the upper floors is an important mixing space encouraging synergies between departments. The project is designed in collaboration with DiMella Shaffer.