In the fall of 2012, President Biddy Martin wanted to make the construction of social spaces for student activities an institutional priority. The Facilities Department, taking her announcement to heart, began a feasibility study on what had been used as a Power House up until the 1960s (Amherst College’s first centralized steam plant, equipped with a coal-fired boiler) and, more recently, a garage for the ground department. Just a few months later in April, architectural and engineering design work began.