The initial phase of the construction of the new College Center began with relocation of the College Book Store and the Retreat from the first floor of Main Building to the former Lathrop House kitchen and the Aula, where they were expected to remain until the the new center's completion in the fall of 1974.  The plans for the center included an expanded Retreat, a college store, accommodation for the Vassar Cooperative Book Store, student organization offices, meeting rooms, a soundproof music practice room, a crafts room, a darkroom, space for radio station WVKR, the Post Office and mailboxes, an all-purpose room and a new auditorium.  For the auditorium, Linda Malone '75 reported in The Miscellany News "the ceiling of the dining hall will be remodeled to reveal a third level of windows presently concealed by a false arch.  These windows were part of the original construction which included a fifth story chapel above the dining hall."

Destroyed in 1918 by fire, the space above the dining hall was partially reclaimed when the hall was restored, as Underwood Hall, to its original use.  The new space, first known for its furnishings as the "Green and Grey" room, later became The Villard Room, in honor of the former chair of the board of trustees, Mary St. John Villard '34.

The College Center opened in the late summer of 1975.