The onslaught of renovation projects at Yale will continue this summer, with construction workers amassing in even greater numbers around campus as students vacate their rooms in Timothy Dwight College and other locations at the University.
Renovations to TD, Farnam Hall and Welch Hall will begin shortly after students make way for scaffolding, jackhammers and dozens of well-worn lunch pails. Along with ongoing construction on Science Hill, Yale Medical School and other campus locations, the overhauls beginning this summer will contribute to the record $324 million the University expects to spend on capital projects in fiscal year 2002, which begins July 1.
The $324 million figure is a significant increase over the nearly $300 million Yale will disburse before the current fiscal year ends. Renovation expenditures continue to escalate as activity on Science Hill increases and other initiatives announced recently by administrators finally reach the construction phase.
Yale President Richard Levin, who served on the budget committee in the mid-1980s when the capital budget was only $20 million to $30 million, was proud to announce the renovation plans and budget numbers at a press conference Monday.
“It would have been amazing to dream then that we’d be spending more than $300 million in one year,” Levin said.
Work on TD will begin the week after students leave the college. Yale will spend over $50 million overhauling TD and neighboring Rosenfeld Hall. When construction is complete in late summer 2002, TD will have a major upgrade of its library area, which is known as Town Hall.
No alumni donor has volunteered the lead gift for the TD renovation, but administrators said they are still optimistic.
“We’ve made a decision to keep moving,” said Provost Alison Richard, Yale’s chief academic and financial officer. “The amount of debt we’re willing to take on is finite, and my hope is that there will be alumni that step forward.”
After its renovation, Rosenfeld will become TD’s sole annex residence, with an additional floor of student living areas and a first-floor common room. Director of Project Management Arch Currie said a new lecture room will be created in what is now the Language Laboratory, but it will have a separate entrance on Temple Street so as not to disturb students living on the other side of the building. An elaborate open wall in front of the building along both streets will also be constructed.
Farnam on Old Campus will receive new windows, bathrooms and paint, as well as an electrical upgrade. Flooring will also be changed where necessary. That project will cost an estimated $5 million and will be completed before new freshmen move in, Levin said.
An additional $1.5 million to $2 million will be spent finishing work that was started on Welch Hall last summer. New bathrooms have already been installed, but furniture, paint and flooring will also be added.
Renovations to Sprague Hall are also expected to begin by mid-summer, pending approval from the Yale Corporation at its June meeting. That overhaul would focus on the facility’s basement and improve lighting. Work will also begin at the Medical School to upgrade the pharmacology unit.
All of Yale’s building endeavors do not come without a heavy financial burden. Of the more than $300 million to be spent on capital projects next year, 40 percent will be paid for by gifts and allocations from the budget. The University will take on debt to pay for the remaining 60 percent.
Yale’s operating budget for fiscal year 2002, which is much larger than its capital budget, is not yet complete and will be presented to the Corporation in June.