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Kennedy School Completes Campus Renovations

The Harvard Kennedy School, pictured in December 2017.
The Harvard Kennedy School, pictured in December 2017. By Caleb D. Schwartz
By Lucas Ward, Crimson Staff Writer

UPDATED: December 8, 2017 at 11:40 p.m.

The Kennedy School of Government last week completed $126 million in renovations to its campus, marking the occasion with a ribbon cutting ceremony and speeches from top administrators.

The construction project, underway since late 2015, included several new buildings added to the center of campus.

The finished additions total about 91,000 square feet of classroom, office, and common spaces. Some of the new features of the Kennedy School campus include a revamped dining area and an elevated outdoor courtyard. Foreign dignitaries who visit the school may be safely transported underneath the elevated courtyard, according to preliminary release plans.

The Kennedy School’s recent capital campaign, which has raised at least $580 million, covered the construction costs. The campaign in 2016 surpassed its original goal of $500 million, the bulk of which came from non-alumni donors and outside sources including former Mayor of New York Michael R. Bloomberg.

University President Drew G. Faust delivered remarks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the end of construction last week.

“We’re here to mark a new era for a school that champions reasoned debate and informed governing,” she said. “The Harvard Kennedy School will continue to advance this important mission in this new and glorious space, a space that is going to enable learning, enhanced community, and enhanced vigorous and rigorous debate.”

Former Kennedy School dean David T. Ellwood and current dean Douglas W. Elmendorf were also in attendance. They said the new space will help grow the Kennedy School and that funds from the Kennedy School capital campaign will help fund other projects.

“We have gone from being a series of buildings to being a campus,” Ellwood said at the event.

“This moment is going to be a transformative one for the Kennedy School,” Elmendorf said. “Soon we will be concluding the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the school’s history, a campaign that was launched and led for a number years by David Ellwood and has raised crucial resources to build a new campus, provide financial aid for students who could not be here otherwise.”

“Our buildings are the structural framework for our lives here, and we are so fortunate that our buildings are beautiful as well as practical,” Elmendorf added.

—Staff writer Lucas Ward can be reached at Follow him on twitter at @LucaspfWard.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: December 8, 2017

A previous version of this article incorrectly indicated that it cost $216 million to renovate the Kennedy School of Government's campus. In fact, it cost $126 million.

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