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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
Chittenden Hall plaza

Exterior rendering of Chittenden Hall's future plaza

Chittenden Hall – Renovation

Project phase: Archived

MSU's Graduate School provides the primary support for graduate education, reporting to both the Provost and the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, and works with graduate program faculty and college administrators to help promote graduate education and research across MSU's colleges. The activities of the Graduate School have gradually increased resulting in the dispersing of functions to several buildings and the lack of an identifiable location from which to coordinate programs and serve students.

The renovations to Chittenden Hall brought together the various functions and created a "neighborhood," or visible place for the Graduate School and the students and faculty it serves.

Constructed in 1901, Chittenden Hall was initially known as the Dairy Laboratory, the first campus space specifically designed for the production and study of dairy products. More recently, Chittenden Hall housed graduate assistants from the Department of Agricultural Economics and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. As part of the rebuilding of the Agriculture Hall annex project that was completed in 1999, the graduate students moved out of Chittenden Hall, positioning it for renewal and reuse. It remained vacant since 1999.

This project involved a comprehensive renovation that respected the historical features of the exterior and interior of the building. Interior spaces to support the Graduate School program drove the design and layout of these rooms.

Project incuded:

  • Renovated building infrastructure and deferred maintenance needs such as plumbing, heating ventilation and air conditioning, electrical, life safety and data.
  • Building envelope and foundation.
  • Accessibility, including addition of an elevator and restrooms.
  • Site modifications including a plaza to provide the accessible building entry and a place for formal and informal gathering furthering the neighborhood concept, active engagement and collaboration.
  • Energy planning and conservation.
  • Environmental remediation including asbestos, lead and other code items.

The project achieved performance equivalent to LEED silver rating from the following categories:

  • Sustainable site
  • Water efficiency
  • Energy and atmosphere
  • Materials and resources
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Innovation and design

Chittenden Hall is located on West Circle Drive between Cook Hall and Old Botany in the North Academic District.


  • Lot 7 was partially closed for the duration of the project.
  • The building was partially occupied by the week of Sept. 15
  • The MSU Graduate School moved into the building in October.
  • There was temporary sidewalk diversion for access to Cook and Marshall-Adams halls.

Detour information

Pedestrian detours around site work were in place through the project duration. This detailed map outlined detour impacts and project phasing.


Start of construction: November 2013

End of construction: September 2014

Questions, comments, concerns?

Design representative

Construction representative



Interactive detour map with current closure information for motorists and pedestrians.