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ResLife to renovate Perkins, Barbour

After inspection of bleak, aging dorms, $5 million allocated for renovation this summer

The Office of Residential Life is allocating $5 million  for the renovations of Perkins Hall, Barbour Hall and Barbour Hall Apartments this summer.

The dorms will undergo renewal renovations, as opposed to full renovations, which would entail closing the buildings, said Senior Associate Dean of ResLife Richard Bova. Dorms fully renovated in recent years include Miller Hall and Metcalf Hall.

A core group of roughly 20 people will plan and execute the renovations, Bova said. The renovations will be completed in nine to 10 weeks, and as many as 100 employees — including Department of Facilities Management staff members, architects and construction and trade workers — will work on them, Bova added.

Deciding which dorms require renovations is a multi-step process, Bova said. ResLife inspects buildings’ age, heating, roofs and usefulness and considers student and family concerns to “prioritize how to allocate resources,” he added.

Currently living in Perkins, Gabe Reyes ’18 worries how the dorm’s condition shapes the University’s image in the eyes of prospective and visiting students and, by extension, its reputation.

“Perkins is definitely one of those dorms where — if a prospective freshman stays (there) during (A Day on College Hill) — they may be turned off and go to a different school because they don’t want to live here,” Reyes said. When a friend from a different school visited last semester, he said Reyes’ room reminded him of a prison cell, Reyes said. His friend now refers to Reyes’ roommate as his “cellmate.”

Reyes also complained about the dorm’s poor water system. “One time, I was about to brush my teeth and had to throw away my toothbrush because the water was so gross,” he said.

Still, Perkins is comfortable, and some people find its amenities agreeable, Reyes said, noting that a friend visiting from Columbia “really loved it.”

Chris Monschauer ’18 wrote in an email to The Herald that Perkins is sufficient, though renovations would be “a great help.”

“Everything else is better” in dorms other than Perkins, Monschauer wrote, “but Perkins itself really is fine.”

Renovations for Perkins and other dorms will be completed by Aug. 8, according to the Department of Facilities Management’s website.


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