Summer renovations cost U. over $5m

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Renovations made to a number of campus buildings over the summer – including Wilson Hall and King House – cost the University more than $5 million. Wilson received an exterior facelift and a new roof, and King House was remodeled to make the building handicapped-accessible.

The work to Wilson Hall was “part of an effort to simply renew buildings as they need to be renewed,” said Michael McCormick, assistant vice president for planning, design and construction. The exterior of the building was cleaned, window joints repaired, window frames painted and the entrance and roof replaced. Inside the building, more air conditioning control points were added and the old ones were replaced to increase accuracy.

“The doors are different,” observed Stephanie Laing ’10. “Before they were cheap-looking, and now they look classy.”

The Wilson Hall project is on schedule and under the $1.85 million budget, McCormick said. The red slate used for the new roof is rare and difficult to obtain, so the back portion of the roof will remain temporary until next summer. But the rest of the project is complete, McCormick said. The renovation was part of an effort to maintain buildings in the historic core of the main campus. A similar project will take place at Lyman Hall next summer.

The improvements to King House, home of the St. Anthony Hall literary fraternity, were part of a number of accessibility improvements that took place over summer after the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights conducted a proactive inspection of campus buildings, McCormick said.

“(The Office of Civil Rights) identified many things that could be better,” he said.

The University spent $4.5 million to improve accessibility in King House, Machado House, Barbour Hall, 108-110 Charlesfield Street and residence halls in Wriston and Keeney quadrangles. The projects targeted program houses to allow students with disabilities access to entrances, bathrooms and common spaces.

The first floor of King House was completely renovated, and a sloping sidewalk leading to the side entrance and an internal lift are still under construction. The project is on time and under budget, McCormick said.

“Should we get a pledge that is physically handicapped, we wouldn’t have to worry about it,” said Finn Yarbrough ’09, a member of St. Anthony Hall and resident of King House.

With additional reporting by Janine Lopez

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