University News

Ratty renovations scheduled to start in spring 2014

By
Staff Writer
Monday, December 3, 2012

Upgrades and renovations of the Sharpe Refectory’s heating and washing equipment will begin in the spring semester of the 2013-14 academic year, said Margaret Klawunn, vice president for campus life and student services. The University hopes to install the new equipment to improve students’ experience, said Richard Bova, senior associate dean of residential and dining services. 

The renovations constitute the first of two projects related to the Ratty, Bova said. 

“The first is to have critical infrastructure renewal clubbing the heating and the electrical,” he said.

This phase will cost $10 million, according to Klawunn

The second phase of the project, which will cost approximately $40 million if approved, pertains more to structural changes within the Ratty itself, Klawunn said. These changes would occur after the larger infrastructure replacements are completed. 

The infrastructure upgrades, which will occur in the first part of the project, will include replacing the high temperature water lines, air handling systems and the dishwashing systems, Bova said. These system replacements will improve the experience of providing food, he added. 

“The changes will consist of things students cannot see,” Klawunn said. The project would take approximately 14 months with the majority of renovations taking place in the summer of 2014. 

“I noticed that the dishwashing system at the Ratty is quite old and needs replacement,” said Edwin Silva ’16, a dining services worker. “I’m glad the deans are thinking of ways to improve the equipment in the kitchens and make work easier.”

Though these changes will be largely made out of the sight of students, the proposed second phase of the project would include more tangible changes to the eating area of the Ratty.

“If funding can be obtained, we would like to segment the first-floor structure to feed around 900 students,” Klawunn said. “That would include having food stalls, creating rooms outside the dining hall proper and maybe having a coffee section.” 

The second phase of the renovation would include closing the Ratty for a year and a half, she added. But the second part of the project, unlike the first, does not have an estimated time frame or start date, according to both Bova and Klawunn

“We will have to wait, since the project has not yet been made a funding priority,” Klawunn said. “It has to get to a point where somebody says, ‘This is what we need.'”