Last week, for the first time in four years, all 12 residential colleges opened their doors to returning students.
With the near-$45 million overhaul to Timothy Dwight College in its final stages and no college scheduled for renovation this year, the renovation of Vanderbilt Hall on Old Campus has become the major residential renovation project.
Students moved into TD and Rosenfeld Hall, the college’s annex space across the street, despite minor ongoing work. Director of Project Management Arch Currie said the TD renovation was approximately 98 percent finished and ahead of where the three other renovated colleges were at this stage.
“These are very ambitious projects with TD and Rosenfeld Hall with a lot of workers,” Currie said. “We always hope for 100 percent completion. The fact that we got 98 [percent] is a minor disappointment but not totally expected. It’s better than what we had in the previous three residential colleges.”
TD’s common facilities, including the computer cluster, dining hall, library and basement were reorganized and renovated — changes similar to those made in Berkeley, Branford and Saybrook colleges. All public spaces now have air conditioning, and contractors have increased handicapped accessibility throughout the college.
Dining Services Director David Davidson said the dining staff was enthusiastic about the new facility, which will include a grill and entrees served out of large bowls and pans.
“It’s much more of a family style,” Davidson said.
The Rosenfeld Hall attic was renovated to make room for additional rooms in the complex.
“[The contractors] ended up doing miracles at the last minute,” Dean of Administrative Affairs John Meeske said. “Rosenfeld looked very, very nice. The fourth floor was an unfinished attic, turned into student rooms. They continued the same sort of architectural detail.”
The University has postponed renovating Pierson College until next year and instead is renovating Vanderbilt. The project is so far on schedule and has completed its demolition phase.
Currie said he expected Vanderbilt to prove to be a much smaller project than the residential college renovations of the previous four years because the building has no public spaces such as libraries and dining halls.
“Simply put, the goal is to refurbish the building now that it is more than 100 years old, and also to upgrade mechanical and telecommunications system to make them more contemporary,” Currie said.
The configuration of the rooms in the building will remain the same. The major change will occur in the basement rooms, in which common rooms were previously lit only by small skylights. The six rooms in this area will receive conventional windows surrounded by a moat.
The University built Vanderbilt Hall in 1894 after a donation by Cornelius Vanderbilt and his wife.