CIE Returns to Montague House – Its Original Home

In June 2016, the Center for International Education will move from Hills House, where it has been for over 40 years, to occupy the newly renovated Montague House. All of the College of Education will then be together in the Furcolo complex which includes the renovated Marks Meadow School, Montague House, and the original Furcolo building.


In 2014 the College of Education finalized plans to consolidate all of the College in the Furcolo complex by remodeling Marks Meadow Elementary School. The two departments that had been in Hills House South for 40 plus years were scheduled to move into the redesigned Marks Meadow building. At that time, the Center for International Education (CIE) began looking for ways to create the kind of physical space that would allow it to maintain the active, engaged learning community which has characterized it from the beginning.


As plans for renovating Marks Meadow and Furcolo moved forward, Dr Gretchen Rossman, one of the international education faculty members, remembered that CIE had originally been in Montague House, the farm house adjacent to Furcolo. Inquiries about the status of Montague, which had sat empty for some years, revealed that some officials in the university wereconsidering demolishing it while others saw its historic value. Upon further thought, we realized that it would make a perfect home for CIE, but a way had to be found to convince the university to invest.


When private donors agreed to match university funds, the University committed to renovating Montague House. Renovation work began in January 2016 and is estimated to take about five months. CIE’s move to Montague House is tentatively scheduled for June 2016. The landscaping between Furcolo and Montague will be modified to provide a walkway and terrace that will help to integrated Montague House into the Furcolo complex, becoming an integral part of the College of Education.


History of CIE and Montague House

Built in the 1840s by the Dickinson family, the farm house was occupied by several farming families over the years.  The house and surrounding farm land were acquired by the university in 1923. When the Center for International Education was created in 1968-1969, it had no dedicated space. CIE faculty members had offices in Furcolo. In about 1970, CIE moved to Montague house, occupying all of the first floor. CIE held Tuesday meetings in the old kitchen.


Early projects such as the Uganda Tororo Girls School and the Teacher Corps project occupied other rooms. DRE’s office was then in what had been the front parlor, complete with a fireplace. That fireplace has been preserved for its architectural value and will be there when DRE moves back into that same office 45 years later! 


Stages of Renovation



The pictures show various stages of the renovation as it has progressed. A very mild winter helped the contractor move quickly without the usual winter delays. The architect and university planners have re-designed the interior space on both the first and second floors to provide spacious, well-lit offices and meeting rooms.  A new “L-shaped room” (Tuesday Dialogue cum conference room) has been added at the southern side of the building. This new room is brightly lit, will provide flexible space for Tuesday meetings, larger classes, and other events.