For more than a decade, the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution has sought to become the nation's foremost training center for constitutional education at Montpelier, the home of President James Madison. As a physical and virtual teaching academy, the Center has engaged tens of thousands of professionals—from all 50 states and more than 90 nations—in the theory and practice of the United States Constitution.
Today, the Center is poised for its next chapter. Construction has begun on Claude Moore Hall, a state-of-the-art $4.7 million building containing meeting and classroom facilities wired for interactive learning, a media center supporting real-time video interviews and professional content production, and offices for Center staff.
The construction of Claude Moore Hall's virtual classrooms and media center will allow the Center to extend its reach, nationally and internationally, and take advantage of the larger community of adult learners, program alumni, and constitutional leaders who make up the audience.
The new building will allow the Center and its partners to create an online community, distribute its experience, and initiate its expertise partnerships with peer organizations all over the world.
As the Montpelier Vice President and Director of the Center has said, "What we hope to stimulate are kitchen table conversations, where the public rolls up their sleeves and discusses the Constitution and how the republic was intended to function. That is the value of blending the education and convening power of the Center for the Constitution moving forward."
The 2016–2019 State Regent's Project is the underwriting of a conference room in Claude Moore Hall, Center for the Constitution at Montpelier, home of James Madison, at a cost of $200,000.
"Every word of the Constitution decides a question between power and liberty," said James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, and that is why the Founders insisted on a rigorous written form.