Centre Facilities

Centre offers outstanding facilities that reflect and reinforce the quality of a Centre education. Old Centre, the main administration building, was begun in 1819 and is an outstanding example of Greek Revival architecture. The Norton Center for the Arts, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has been widely acclaimed as one of America's best performance centers. Our residence halls include suite and townhouse style designs as well as traditional style residences with community kitchens, study rooms, and gathering spaces. Our classroom buildings include cutting-edge equipment and instrumentation, quiet study spots, and innovative collaboration spaces. Centre never stands still, and we continue to enhance our 178-acre campus. In the last five years, Centre has invested more than $80 million in facilities and infrastructure, including new and renovated residential buildings, a major renovation and expansion of Olin Hall, for science and mathematics, renovation of Crounse Hall and the Grace Doherty Library, and expanded athletic facilities. Several campus buildings hold LEED certification and sustainability is a priority in future construction. The College's master plan for building and renovation guides a program of physical improvements into the coming decade. 

The following list describes some of the major buildings on campus.


Old Centre 

The first building of the College, Old Centre is listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places. The six-column Greek Revival front portico and wings were added to the original Federal building in 1841. During the Civil War, Confederate and later Union troops used the building as a hospital before and after the nearby Battle of Perryville. Old Centre now houses offices, including for the president and vice president for academic affairs, as well as the Admission Office reception area.


Boles Hall 

Built in 1997 as a mirror image to the 1940 Wiseman Hall, Boles Hall is named for a former Centre board chair and since 2015 has housed most of the Admission and Financial Aid offices.


Norton Center for the Arts 

Each year the Norton Center offers a breath-taking array of entertainment: cellist Yo-Yo Ma, singers Bobby McFerrin and Alison Krauss, Broadway shows Jersey Boys and Steel Magnolias, and the Boston Pops, to name a few. The Norton Center has also been the site for two Vice Presidential Debates, in 2012 and 2000. Students often work backstage during these events or help take important visitors to and from the airport. In addition, some artists—flutist James Galway and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, to name just two—offer master classes for interested students. The 85,000-square-foot Norton Center complex was designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and includes the 1,500-seat Newlin Hall. At the back of the complex are the more intimate 367-seat Weisiger Theatre and Grant Hall, which includes classrooms, studios, and offices for drama and music faculty.


Crounse Hall, Grace Doherty Library, and the Centre Learning Commons 

Crounse Hall includes classrooms and offices for humanities and social science faculty members. The Vahlkamp Theater (a small movie theater) and the Media Suite where students may work on editing, film, and audio projects are on the lower level. Crounse also includes the Muslim Student Prayer Space, several reservable study rooms, and comfortable seating for private study. The front and main section of the Crounse building is occupied by Grace Doherty Library and the Centre Learning Commons. The Learning Commons is devoted to student success and connects tutoring for most programs, as well as assisting students with necessary accommodations for learning. It is home to a peer mentoring program and provides a hub for student success initiatives. A computer lab equipped with a teaching station, computers, and a presentation screen is available on the lower level of the library. There are computers available on the main floor of the library and laptops, video cameras, iPads, and other technologies are available for checkout. Also on the main floor are two reservable seminar rooms. Nine study rooms are available for reservation as well.
A quiet reading room on the main floor is often used for small, academic meetings as well as quiet study. Students can grab a meal or a coffee and relax at Einstein Bros. ® Bagels. The Special Collections room is located on the main floor of the library and houses archival records of Centre College, as well as rare and fragile materials. Special Collections are made available to patrons and community users by appointment with the library archivist.
The library’s print collection includes approximately 168,000 volumes, as well as 55,500 e-books and 35,033 e-journals. In addition to the primarily free interlibrary service offered to our patrons, a formal agreement grants borrowing privileges at all Kentucky academic libraries to the students and faculty of Centre College. The Grace Doherty Library’s webpage provides online access to such scholarly databases as Academic Search Complete, Web of Science, and JSTOR, among many others. All electronic resources are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students and faculty have access to all library databases from off campus, via their campus email username and password.
Instruction librarians provide research sessions to first-year students each fall as part of the Finding Your Centre course and offer course-specific instruction upon request. One-on-one research consultations are also available for students and faculty during staffed hours at the information desk, via chat service, or by appointment.


Franklin W. Olin Hall 

Olin Hall was built in 1988 with a $3.5-million grant from the F.W. Olin Foundation of New York City. It houses the analytical chemistry, computer science, data science, environmental studies, mathematics, and physics programs. In 2021, a major $8.7 million renovation and expansion opened with support from the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation.


Young Hall

Named for two early Centre presidents—John C. Young and his son William Young, Class of 1859— Young Hall opened a major addition to the building, certified with the environmental designation LEED gold, in 2010. Young Hall houses the behavioral neuroscience, biochemistry and molecular biology, biology, and psychology programs, as well as the synthetic (organic and inorganic) chemists. Outstanding examples of dinosaur fossils and unusual minerals are on display throughout the building.


Jones Visual Arts Center 

The Jones Visual Arts Center houses the art and art history programs. It includes a state-of-the-art hot glass studio and the AEGON Gallery for exhibitions of work by student and visiting artists. The drawing and painting studios offer outstanding natural light. There are also studios for ceramics, sculpture, and other media, as well as classrooms and faculty offices.


Sutcliffe Hall 

Sutcliffe has three gyms, including Alumni Gymnasium, which was remodeled in 2019 and is the home of Centre’s basketball and volleyball programs. Sutcliffe also houses the Buck Fitness Center, a fully equipped fitness facility offering free weight, plate-loaded and machine lifting opportunities, as well as a variety of aerobic machines. The athletic offices, Athletic Hall of Fame, and Hall of Fame Café are all located inside Sutcliffe Hall, as well. 


Old Carnegie 

Old Carnegie houses the Center for Global Citizenship, which helps 85% of Centre students study abroad and across the US. It is also home to the Center for Career & Professional Development, where personalized career coaches help students join a Career Exploration Community, find internships, apply to graduate school, and secure a meaningful career. Built in 1913 as a library (the industrialist Andrew Carnegie provided $30,000 toward its construction); Carnegie served that purpose until Doherty Library opened in 1967. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 


Roush Campus Center 

The two-story, 50,000-square-foot Roush Campus Center includes the Student Life Office, the Office of Health Promotions as well as space for student organizations and meetings, a multicultural space, fireplaces, and a game area. It also includes two dining facilities: Cowan Dining Commons (the main dining hall) and the Flame Café. It is certified with the environmental designation LEED silver.


Student Residences 

Most students live on campus in accommodations that vary from traditional residence halls to townhouse-style apartments. Students also live in the fraternity and sorority houses in Greek Park. Pearl Hall, certified LEED gold, opened in 2008. Brockman Residential Commons, certified LEED silver, opened in 2012. The Northside Residence Hall opened in the fall of 2019.