Alter Hall - Xavier's Academic Heartbeat

Historically, Alter Hall has been the central classroom building for Xavier University in the 20 th century. For the past 50 years, nearly every Xavier student and faculty member has passed through Alter. Positioned on the Academic Mall and adjacent to Bellarmine Chapel, Xavier envisions a revitalized facility that will be positioned to contribute to teaching and learning deep into the 21 st century. As such, it is a place for collaboration and discovery, supporting the core curriculum, enabling cross-disciplinary partnerships, and making visible Xavier's distinctive Honors Program.

Program Need

Xavier's primary academic space need is a portfolio of flexible classroom environments. These learning spaces will accommodate a range of disciplines, curricula, and pedagogies. These high quality environments will be sized to meet future learning style demands and potential enrollment growth. Critical to the success of the classrooms are informal learning environments that provide break-out and small group collaboration opportunities. Building on the success of Conaton Learning Commons and Smith Hall significant learning is taking place outside the classroom, and group project work will prepare students for the workplace. The Honors Program teaching spaces will showcase best practices at Xavier and remain flexible for other uses. The overall goal is to have excellent space utilization for scheduled classes and become available for teamwork during open scheduled times. Importantly, the building will house the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, providing an identity and University presence.


Alter's design agenda is multifaceted. The exterior facades will be redesigned creating a dialog with the Academic Mall and the Hoff Quad. The interior will exhibit a forward looking vocabulary featuring the activities of the faculty and students and making the work visually accessible. Overall, the design must be an overt teaching tool supporting Xavier's commitment to sustainable environments. The design of the building will engage with participants in communicating building performance metrics and incentivizing conservation habits. The goal for the project is to attain a LEED Gold rating. The landscape components of the project will include the St. Ignatius Steps, connecting the Hoff Quad with the Academic Mall.

Financial Plan

The total project cost for Alter Hall will not exceed $18,000,000.


The project will be completed for the 2015 fall semester.


The Alter Hall project will meet the campus master plan framework that was developed in 2006. The project will be coordinated with its surrounding context, including Hailstones Hall, and any potential change to Hailstones in the future. The University has formed an ART (Alter Renovation Team) comprised of faculty and staff. The ART has been diligent in articulating a project vision and shepherding each aspect of the project through schematic design. Additional campus community input will continue to positively influence the project though the fall of 2013.


  • Type: Renewal and Replacement
  • Status: Past Project
  • Project Photos


Planning Committee


Project Schedule



Bob Sheeran