UW Rome Center

December 4, 2020

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

As the well-known adage goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. In the last six months, significant progress has been made on the first floor and we’re pleased to report that the project is nearing completion! Since we last updated you, the electrical systems have been completed, beautiful new tile floors have been laid, kitchens have been installed in the apartment and the communal “Relax Area”, walls have been prepared for painting, lighting has been mounted, and fire safety measures have been implemented. Work to be completed includes installation of the bathrooms, completion of the HVAC system and mounting of fan coils, painting of the walls and trim, and installation of new educational technology including audiovisual equipment and computers in all of the classrooms and the Conference Room.

Perhaps the most exciting change on the first floor in the renovation is the opening up of our new Exhibit Space, which formally served as the Seminar Room. Now, as you walk down the hall towards the Conference Room, the hallway opens up into a spacious, well-light room cloaked by the striking fresco on the vaulted ceiling depicting Juno, Aeolus, god of the winds, and the nymph Deiopea. This new space will be used to feature student projects and short term exhibits of local artists and members of the UW Rome Center community.

Other important changes to the first floor include a Relax Area for students, faculty and staff to eat lunch or drink a caffè, as well as repositioning the faculty apartment to make better use of the former Classroom C (which will now be the living/dining room of the apartment), and to allow for communal access to the terrace overlooking Campo de’ Fiori. Overall, the space will be more functional and encouraging of more places for interaction amongst our students and faculty once we return to study abroad.

Meanwhile, as we finalize the project on the first floor, renovation work as already gotten underway on the third floor. Preparatory work including redoing some non-loadbearing walls, demolishing bathrooms, and reinforcing the floors began in October. To make way for this work, the UW Rome Center office was moved to former computer lab on the fourth floor, where it will be located until the third floor is completed. Similar to the first floor, the design plans for the third floor will maximize educational space and encourage use of shared work space in the new Business Center.

Of course, the big question we are all asking now is when University of Washington students will return to Rome. We are hopeful for a strong return in Summer 2021, and we currently have 11 programs pending approval to come in the Summer and Early Fall terms. We are beyond excited to welcome students back to the UW Rome Center and for them partake in the transformational experience of study abroad in our newly renovated space.