An architectural competition for an Instructional Communications and Research Center project was held in 1962. The winning design, selected by a jury in 1963, was submitted by the Perkins & Will architectural firm. The new building would contain state of the art instructional spaces including a 550 seat lecture-demonstration auditorium, a semi-circular case study classroom, five television studio classrooms and a broadcast studio for WRPI. The proposed site was originally in an area southwest of the Science Center (where Cogswell is now located). The location of the "Modern Classroom Building " was later restudied and in March 1966, a site "adjacent to the bank at the east end of the '86 Field extending southward" was announced. The project, however, was officially postponed in 1968 because of the lack of federal funding.
A combination of funding sources including a Title I grant and a Title III subsidy loan enabled the $6.2 million project to move forward in 1970. Construction of the building, scheduled for completion in the fall of 1972, was delayed by field conditions and design issues. The Communication Center was finally ready for occupancy by the fall of 1973.
The Bedford Auditorium was named in honor of Clay P. Bedford, Class of 1925. The building was named the Darrin Communications Center in 1987 "in recognition of a lifetime of dedication, loyalty and support to Rensselaer" by David M. Darrin, Class of 1940 and Rensselaer trustee.