Just as faculty and students began to spend more hours at their personal computers in the early 1990s, the dean of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs sought to expand and consolidate the school while also creating an environment that physically brought people together and promoted collaborative learning with a shared purpose.
The Maxwell School offers the oldest Master of Public Administration degree program in the country and comprises all of Syracuse University's social science departments. Maxwell Hall, a Georgian building from the 1930s occupies a key position on one of the University's two main quadrangles and is widely recognized as a symbol of the School's stature. Faced with a need to triple the School's size, the University assumed that site constraints prohibited expansion adjacent to Maxwell Hall and would require abandoning the Maxwell School's symbolic home for a less central campus location.
As part of a new Master Plan for the University prepared by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the opportunity to build a new 125,000 sf building adjacent to Maxwell Hall was identified. This opportunity also reconfigured existing campus quadrangles and strengthened axial relationships to the dome of Hendricks chapel. As a result of discovering this opportunity the University commissioned Bohlin Cywinski Jackson to design the facility. The project also included a semi-remote 400-car parking structure which compensates for parking lost to the new Maxwell School addition, now known as Eggers Hall.
Eggers Hall links to the old Maxwell Hall via a public atrium. It provides a large variety of clustered academic environments, conceived as "academic villages" and "houses," with the goal of maximizing the sense of collegiality in the School's interdisciplinary educational and research endeavors. The building is organized around a central "forum" that fosters social and professional interaction among occupants of the old and new buildings, now comprising the Maxwell School.