TD renovation stays on schedule

With a little over half the construction complete, the renovation of Timothy Dwight College and its annex space is on schedule.

Fusco Corp., the lead contractor on the TD project, has completed approximately 55 percent of construction, including finishing many of the bedrooms and living rooms in the college. The University plans for renovations to be complete by the third week in August, before students move in for next school year.

Yale President Richard Levin said the University is pleased with the progress of the renovation.

“I think everyone is quite satisfied with how it is going,” Levin said.

The majority of the remaining work will focus on common areas like the basement, the dining hall and the library.

“The biggest work amount to be done is in the public spaces,” Facilities Project Director Arch Currie said. “Those are always the hardest places to do because there is so much construction to be done there.”

In Rosenfeld Hall, the TD annex space, work is nearly complete in all rooms except for the attic space, where contractors had to construct a new roof.

Currie said the University is in a better position to complete the renovation on time than it was for the two previous residential college renovations. Some spaces in Branford College that were suppose to open at the beginning of last school year instead reached completion three months into the school year.

TD is the first Georgian college that Yale has renovated and the architectural style may have made construction a bit easier.

“Personally, I find the Georgian colleges a little easier because you’re doing a little less stone work,” Currie said. “New openings can be done with brick masonry instead of stone carving and stone masonry that we had to do to with the other colleges. I would take the Georgian colleges any day over the Gothic colleges.”

While construction workers have yet to run into serious problems, as the year progresses worker shortages could slow the pace. The high demand for construction labor during the summer has always posed a problem for University construction projects, Currie said.

“We always find over the summer numerous people vying for the construction resources,” Currie said. “It’s very challenging. Everyone tries to do a lot of building during the summer.”

While construction shortages are still possible, Currie said he hopes the University has ensured that any union job action would not disrupt construction.

Fusco and the Building Construction Trade Union signed a project labor agreement in which the union promised workers would not go on strike in exchange for the hiring of an all-union work force.

Currie said this agreement made it “unlikely” that work would stop if Yale’s two largest unions went on strike this year, but added that there are never guarantees.

“One of the things I do is I never account for the behavior of others,” Currie said.

TD is the fourth residential college Yale has renovated in the last four years. Berkeley, Branford and Saybrook colleges have all been renovated.

In the beginning of the summer before the start of construction on TD, the University decided to switch contractors. Yale had originally named one of the nation’s largest construction firms, Turner Construction Company, as the main contractor for the project, but the University instead decided to hire New Haven-based Fusco.

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