University News

Campus renovations progress, further work ahead

An overhaul to the Sharpe Refectory may be part of a second phase of campus-wide facilities facelifts

By
Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, September 19, 2013

“In a way, there’s still a lot of space between the two campuses,” said JoVaun Holmes ’17. “I’ve met a lot of other (first-years) in Keeney (Quadrangle) but I don’t see them that often. It’s close but still far.”

As a two-year renovation of residence halls and dining facilities nears completion, students still see areas for additional improvement.

The $56 million renovation project is set to conclude with the rejuvenation of Andrews Dining Commons, said Senior Associate Dean of Residential and Dining Services Richard Bova. He expects the University to continue large-scale maintenance projects on student facilities starting next year.

“We have not deviated from our plan and will not deviate from our budget,” he said of the two-year effort. The entire budget is expected to be used on the renovations.

The Corporation’s investment in campus-wide renovations began with last year’s overhaul of Miller and Metcalf Halls, The Herald previously reported. The University has been updating student living quarters since then in an effort to build common community spaces for each class.

Some students see more work ahead for improving the campus experience.

“In a way, there’s still a lot of space between the two campuses,” JoVaun Holmes ’17 said. “I’ve met a lot of other (first-years) in Keeney (Quadrangle), but I don’t see them that often. It’s close but still far.”

Others see continued issues in residence hall facilities. “I’ve been in some nasty bathrooms,” said Christine Mullen ’16. She added that some restrooms in Emery-Woolley Hall are still out of date.

But most major changes will likely not occur until the next phase of renovations. Though the draft of the University’s strategic plan released Wednesday stated that the “Sharpe Refectory and a number of residence halls are long overdue for renovation,” these projects will begin after the Pembroke campus project is finished, Bova said.

The Gate will be moved from Alumnae Hall to Andrews Dining Commons, where it will be part of a new common area for the Pembroke campus. The area, which Bova said is on track to be completed by its January 2014 deadline, will include a new 24-hour study space.

Another first-year dorm, Keeney, was split into three units with their own entrances. Common rooms and hallways have also been given a facelift. Minor improvements were made to rooms and bathrooms in Emery-Woolley and Morriss-Champlin Halls.

Some sophomore and upperclassmen dorms were also refreshed.

Rooms in Hope College were given a fresh coat of paint, and new appliances and cabinets were installed in the basement kitchen. Partial or full bathroom renovations were completed in Minden Hall, according to an Office of Residential Life document Bova gave to The Herald.

Emma Funk ’16 said she hopes future improvement plans will include more suites and singles for underclassmen and a large-scale revamp of Perkins Hall and Graduate Center. “Everyone hates to live in Perkins,” she said.

Further details about a second installment of residence hall renovations will be released after the Corporation meets at the end of October, Bova said.