Transforming Spaces: Campus Construction and Renovation for Summer 2017

images of campus details, include a grey tile, stained glass window, a lantern, and a tree

Rhodes over the years has received recognition for being a special place to live, work, and learn, including being ranked the No. 1 Most Beautiful Campus in The Princeton Review’s The Best 381 Colleges for 2017. Campus spaces are intentionally designed to encourage conversation and collaboration, research and creativity, and lifelong connections. And after students engage in internships and community service throughout the city, they are able to bring those experiences back to Rhodes for processing and reflection.

Campus improvements are ongoing at Rhodes, whether through major construction or minor enhancements. Here is a rundown of the latest projects.

Robertson Hall

Robertson Hall, opening fall 2017, named in honor of Lola ’33 and Charles Robertson, Sr. ’29 in appreciation of the generosity of Patricia and Charles Robertson, Jr. ’65. The 55,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art science facility will house four biology faculty and two chemistry faculty, with six teaching labs, five research labs, and two classrooms. It maintains the Collegiate Gothic style of architecture of all Rhodes buildings. Final interior finishes and site work are currently underway, furniture will arrive in early July, and move-in will follow by mid-July. Final exterior site work on Robertson will be complete in mid-August.

Briggs Hall

Briggs Hall, currently closed for renovation, will open this fall as the new home for computer science studies. The building will house five faculty offices and six computer labs, two research labs, and three classrooms. The main floor also has the Spence Wilson Commons which includes the Spence Wilson Room for meetings and a lobby at its entrance.   Site work is underway with both the north and south patios receiving new hardscape and landscaping. Furniture arrives in early August and move-in is scheduled for the second week of August.

Bill and Carole Troutt Quad

Rhodes’ focus on the importance of the campus environment began with Dr. Charles Diehl, the president who moved the college to Memphis in 1925. Among his residential goals were the use of Collegiate Gothic architecture and a quadrangle layout similar to Oxford University. The Bill and Carole Troutt Quad, honoring the college’s 19th president and first lady, will be dedicated in the fall of 2017. The quad is bounded by the Paul Barret, Jr. Library, Robertson Hall, Briggs Hall, and Hassell Hall. It is scheduled to be complete mid-August. 

Clough Lane

Clough Lane (from Robinson to Voorhies residence halls) is closed off this summer and will be re-aligned with the north drive that leads out to the Charles Street gate. New concrete curbs, asphalt and landscaping will be completed by mid-July. 

Mallory and Spann Parking Lots 

The south portion of the Mallory parking lot is being re-surfaced, and the entire lot will be re-striped. Repairs, seal coating and striping have been completed in the Spann parking lot.


  • In Parkway Hall, the original single pane steel casement windows are being replaced with energy efficient thermal windows, along with new furniture and flooring on the second and third floors.
  • Interior painting is scheduled for Voorhies Hall, Stewart Hall, Spann Hall, and West Village.
  • The Clough elevator will be upgraded with a new cab interior, floor indicators, and controller.  Installation begins on May 30, and the elevator will be out of service for approximately four weeks.
  • The original fan coil units in Williford Hall are being replaced with more energy efficient fan coil units, along with an HVAC controls upgrade which will provide improved control for each residential unit.

Upon returning to campus this fall, students will find refurbished rooms, renovated study spaces, and up-to-date labs and classrooms for computer science, biology, and chemistry. Over the years, Rhodes has continued to fulfill the imperative in the Rhodes Vision, adopted by the Board of Trustees in 2003, that says, in part, “To provide a residential place of learning that inspires integrity and high achievement through its beauty . . . and its heritage as a leader in the liberal arts and sciences.”