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Renovations to 315 Thayer St., the future home of a 60-bed, upperclass residence hall, are expected to begin this week after budget issues pushed the project's start date back from this summer. The hall will open to students next fall.

Stephen Maiorisi, vice president for Facilities Management said the plans for renovating the space needed to be realigned with the project's $8.5 million budget — approved by the Corporation in October 2010.

Facilities Management was unable to assess the costs of the renovations while students were living in the building, wrote Richard Bova, senior associate dean of residential and dining services, in an email to The Herald. The site was previously used as auxiliary housing.

Renovation plans were resolved to fit within the budget two weeks ago, Bova told The Herald, and the scope of the project did not undergo significant changes to meet the approved budget. The late start will not delay the building's completion, which is slated for fall 2012, Maiorisi said.

Construction crews began setting up at the site last week, but this week should mark the beginning of demolition to alter the building's interior structure, Maiorisi said. After the demolition, crews will begin construction on stairways that will allow easier access to the building, he said. Currently, the stairways divide the building into three towers and prohibit access to the fourth floor. The building has a sloping roof that prevents students from living in the rooms on that floor, he said.  

Other than minor work on the building's exterior — such as replacing windows and adjusting the grates in the courtyard to make the front door accessible from the Thayer sidewalk — renovations will only involve the interior, Maiorisi said.

Renovations will also include the installation of new sprinklers to comply with fire codes and a new elevator, Maiorisi said.

The renovated building's floorplans will increase the number of beds in the building to 60, with eight standalone singles and the rest confined to suites. Suites will feature between two and six bedrooms. The singles are all located on the fourth floor along with two suites. Each floor contains a total of 15 bedrooms.

Suites will come with kitchenettes containing refrigerators and microwaves, Maiorisi said.

The Office of Residential Life solicited advice from the Residential Council on what features and furnishings to include in the suites, Bova said.

The building's rooms should be available for selection for the housing lottery this spring, Bova said. Because the suites come with common rooms, they will include the $1,252 additional apartment fee, he said.


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