University News

Miller, Metcalf open to upperclassmen after renovations

The Pembroke campus dorms will serve as housing for first-year students this fall

By
Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, February 14, 2013

Miller and Metcalf halls, which underwent extensive renovations this year, are currently housing transfer students and students returning to the University from studying abroad.

Miller and Metcalf halls opened this semester to all students after completing renovations that began last summer. The dorms currently house upperclassmen but will be converted to first-year-only housing this fall.

Students in the dorms currently include transfer students, those who have returned from study abroad and others who have requested room changes. Many of the students residing in the dormitories currently live alone in double rooms due to excess space availability.

“I was studying abroad in Barcelona for a semester, so they placed me here,” said Carolina Gomez ’14, who lives in Miller. “All the transfers got placed in doubles with a roommate but all the study abroad got placed in singles.” Students who studied abroad last fall were allowed to request residence for the spring semester on Pembroke campus, said Leah Stansky ’14, who was placed in Metcalf this semester.

“It’s the nicest dorm I’ve lived in thus far,” Stansky said.

After years of deterioration, the dorms were completely overhauled to a much greater extent than Keeney Quadrangle and Andrews Hall, which were also renovated last year, said Margaret Klawunn, vice president for campus life and student services. Keeney Quad and Andrews Hall required less renovation than Miller and Metcalf, which needed completely new heating, plumbing and electrical systems.

“These two buildings were a gut renovation, which means they were really torn down to the studs and everything was redone,” Klawuun said.

“These were our two worst buildings on campus for the systems, especially for the heating systems, and now it’s just spectacular,” she said.

Renovations also included installing an elevator in each dormitory, creating community lounges with kitchens on the first floor, restoring laundry rooms and adding spaces for students to relax, play games, watch television and have meetings. There are study rooms on each floor, as well as individual restrooms “for students who are not working with a gender-segregated binary,” said Richard Bova, senior associate dean of residential and dining services.

Miller and Metcalf are now handicap-accessible, a requirement for new dormitories on campus, said Kaylyn Shibata ’14, a member of the Residential Council. Older dorms on campus do not have these functions, but because the requirement is new, they are not in violation of this regulation, she said.

Changing Miller and Metcalf so they would have doubles was not the intention when the planning process began, Klawunn said.

“While we were (in the planning process), we came up with the idea, from listening to students, that these buildings would be better used as a first-year residential area, instead of what we were doing with the buildings before,” she said.

The Miller and Metcalf dorms will house 164 students in doubles this fall, Bova said.

Currently, Miller and Metcalf are attached to Andrews Hall, but the University will divide the buildings in the future, Shibata said. Other future renovations include adding interactive dashboards that will tell students their energy consumption levels. Residential peer leaders are currently being trained to work these dashboards and communicate the importance of sustainability to students, Klawuun said.

  • aggus

    Klawunn is a jack-o-NO-trade, and a master of none.