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First-year dorms to undergo renovations

ResLife plans $5 million renovation, to replace beds, carpets, improve lounges in Morris, Emery

Following the renovations of Perkins Hall and Barbour Hall last summer, the Office of Residential Life will be renovating first-year residence halls Emery, Woolley, Morris and Champlin and upper-year halls Young Orchard #2, #4, and #10 this summer.

In the past six years, Residential Life has focused on renovations in both first-year and upper-year housing, with projects in Keeney Quadrangle, Miller Hall, Metcalf Hall, Andrews Hall, Wayland House, Wriston Quadrangle, Perkins Hall and Barbour Hall, wrote Richard Hilton, assistant director of Residential Life, in an email to The Herald. While the last three summers focused exclusively on upper-year housing, ResLife is returning to refreshing first-year buildings this summer, he added.

Hilton noted that the halls will be newly painted and carpeted, new beds will be installed and the hallway and big lounges on the ground floors of Morris and Emery will undergo improvements. Expenses for the summer renovations are expected to run about $5 million.

James Feinberg ’20, who lived in Emery this year, said he did not believe the dorms required renovations.

“Emery is really fine on most counts aside from being less than easy on the eyes and the fact that the showerheads are pretty low,” Feinberg said. “There are locking bathrooms — one to every two rooms — which are great, and some of the rooms are pretty spacious.”

On the other hand, Malwina Skowron ’18, who resided in Young Orchard #10 this year, noted that her dorm could use a refresh.

“The suite I live in definitely has some character,” Skowron said. “When the heat is on, the radiator makes clanging noises that I’ve gotten used to but is still definitely strange.” Skowron also pointed out that while she was able to control the thermostat last semester, “it has been out of our control for some time,” requiring her to resort to opening the windows on warm days during the winter season.

Skowron noted that the furniture and walls are still in good condition, but the dorms do have an “ant problem” with ants crawling out from cracks in the caulk in the kitchen and bathtub. Yet, despite these problems, she said that “considering that there are four bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom and living room in one space, there (are) not many problems that wouldn’t also be an issue in a regular off-campus house.”

For now, Skowron said the most useful change would be to the vents in the bathroom that often do not remove any heat or steam, leaving the room soaked when someone uses the shower.

Renovations to residence halls are often well-received. Alex Daigle ’19, who lives in Barbour this year, said he enjoys living in the hall because of its updated appearance and its effectiveness as a “communal living space.” While the layout of the building can create an “echo chamber,” he likes the open courtyard and the kitchen amenities in the suites.

Hilton writes that there are several considerations made in ultimately deciding to pursue the renovations. We consider the “overall condition of building, functionality (and) what other buildings were renovated recently,” Hilton wrote. “We try to balance attention to different class years, and we have to attend both to upgrades that students see — the visible things — and necessary work like heat and the roof that are not as visible to students when we improve them.”

All renovations are expected to be completed by the first week of August.

— Additional reporting by Hattie Xu


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