Hamline University marked the official start of construction Monday on its new university center, a building the university expects to be "transformative" for the St. Paul campus and its neighborhood.

The three-level, $36 million center will stand at the corner of Snelling and Englewood avenues. The building will incorporate meeting spaces, dining facilities, a coffee shop and an outdoor terrace, among other things.

The university is aiming to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's standards for LEED silver, in part through solar panels and a green roof.

The center will be named the Anderson University Center after alumna Carol Anderson and her late husband Dennis, who donated $8.3 million for the project. The school has raised more than $13 million for the center and expects to raise an additional $11 million before it's completed in August 2012, according to a news release.

On a blog for the building, recent graduate David McCarthy noted that, "I know this building will be a much needed addition for student organizations."

If you're a Hamline student, staffer or faculty member, let me know what you think of the project in the comments below.