As students settle into their dormitories for the semester, those residing in Buxton, Chapin, Harkness, Sears and Wayland Houses are benefitting from renovations completed this summer. These five dorms saw the introduction of new carpets, furniture and paint, as well as updates to kitchens and lounge areas, said Richard Bova, senior associate dean of residential life and dining services.
These renovations cost approximately $5 million, Bova said. This summer’s construction was part of a 2014 project to renovate all nine Wriston buildings over two years that cost a total of $10 million, he said.
“The project was planned out two-and-a-half years ago and received funding over a two-year period,” Bova said, adding that new furniture, paint, carpet and flooring “improves anyone’s general living conditions.”
Bella Norvig ’16, whose sorority Alpha Chi Omega is situated in Sears House, said the renovations have made the living spaces “better and newer.” The lounge was redone, new carpets were added and “everything just looks really nice,” she said.
Raphaela Posner ’18 said the updates to Wayland make it “look like a hotel.” Posner did not know that Wayland was being renovated this summer, so when she arrived on campus in September, she was thrilled to discover the changes. “When I walked in I was like, ‘are you kidding me?’” Posner said, adding, “It looks beautiful.”
The Wriston renovations were similar in “size, scope and duration” to previous work done in Littlefield, Hope and New Pembroke dorms because both were renewal projects, not gut renovations, Bova said. Miller and Metcalf previously underwent gut renovations, and Andrews and Keeney were refreshed with some additional mechanical work involved within the past five years, Bova said.
To prioritize renovation and construction projects, the Office of Residential Life conducts environmental surveys to determine “what really needs the most attention,” Bova said. Facilities Management surveys “heating systems, lighting, the air handler system, the foundation and the windows the same way you would do a home inspection” to determine the specific needs of the structures, he said.
In addition to environmental surveys, Bova “continually works with students” to identify which areas they feel need renovation, he said. “Students have been really happy about the results from the comments we have received,” Bova said.
For future projects, the Office of Residential Life is “looking closely” at Perkins, Barbour Hall and Graduate Center, Bova said.
Allie Dolido ’18 and Justine Breuch ’18, residents of Perkins Hall, said they see the need for renovations in their living space.
“The carpet is stained with other people’s business, the stairwells are dirty and the sinks leak — my feet get wet when I brush my teeth,” Dolido said.
“It’s supposed to be our home for eight months,” she added. “Where you live makes a big difference.”