Top-to-Bottom Transformation Prepares Historic Moench Hall for Future

Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Students walking in Rose-Hulman's renovated Moench Hall.

The new Moench Commons Café, new study spaces and updated top floor skylight are among several features of the extensive Moench Hall renovation project, which was completed on time and within its original budget.

What is old is new again for historic Moench Hall as the Institute has welcomed the 2023-24 school year and prepares for its sesquicentennial celebration next year. 

A $25 million, four-phased extensive renovation will provide new avenues for classroom instruction, offer more opportunities for students and faculty to put STEM concepts into practice in state-of-the-art laboratories, and give students new ways to enjoy life on campus. 

The project to renovate the college's 102-year-old original academic building was started in June 2021 and was completed on time and within its original budget. Its opening was greeted by nearly 2,250 students for the 2023-24 academic year, nearly 3 percent more than the student body during Fall 2022.

Major aspects of Moench Hall’s renovations are:

  • Creating a new Commons Café with new seating areas and a living wall, where students, faculty, and staff can relax in between classes and enjoy selections from a new coffee shop.
  • Updating all faculty office areas, laboratories, classrooms, and creating new office spaces for the Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Improving accessibility with ramps on the north and south ends of the top floors and a redesigned hallway between the lower level of Moench Hall and Crapo Hall, allowing people to move between the buildings more easily.
  • Adding student study spaces for Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Mathematics departments. A student lounge area in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts has also been significantly expanded.
  • Improving energy efficiencies with a new top floor skylight, roof replacement, and completely new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

The scheduling of this renovation project over a two-year period was made possible because of the addition of the New Academic Building, opened for the 2021-22 school year, with its new chemistry and biochemistry laboratories and additional classrooms.

This is the third significant renovation to Moench Hall, which had its cornerstone laid September 13, 1922, to mark the building’s opening and the college’s move from its original location in downtown Terre Haute, starting in 1874.