Three colleges will not get full renovation

While renovations to Davenport College proceed apace and work on Trumbull College is slated to begin following commencement, Yale officials said three colleges — Calhoun, Ezra Stiles and Morse — will not receive complete, year-long renovations, news that troubled some affiliated with those colleges.

Silliman and Jonathan Edwards colleges are slated to follow Trumbull in the University’s cycle of 15-month residential college renovations, but construction work for Calhoun, Ezra Stiles and Morse will not extend beyond exterior repairs, provost’s office sources said. Officials contend that those three colleges already are in better condition than their unrenovated peers and do not require the same degree of reworking as the other nine colleges, but several students in those colleges have complained that their facilities are getting shortchanged.

Renovations to Morse and Stiles will begin and finish this summer and will entail only a reworking of the colleges’ roofs, said Lloyd Suttle, the deputy provost of undergraduate and graduate programs. Work on Calhoun will only include window replacements and will occur this summer and next summer, Suttle said.

“There’s no need to do that in a 15-month project, we’re able to do it in a series of three-month projects,” Suttle said. “They already have the room configurations we’re doing in the other colleges, and the condition of Morse and Stiles is that you can’t really change how things are laid out.”

Suttle said the three colleges have already had their heating systems replaced and their bathrooms repaired over time, so he sees no reason to gut the bathrooms, as has been done in the newly-renovated colleges.

Calhoun Master William Sledge, who is retiring as master this summer, said he does not think renovations to his college should stop with window replacements.

“Of course, more than that will be necessary, but exactly what is planned and when is not known to me,” Sledge said. “Calhoun needs to be brought into line with the other colleges.”

Several Calhoun students agreed, saying that the college’s basement needs to be remodeled and that student suites need more overhead lighting.

“Our basement is ridiculous,” Calhoun resident Robin Swartout ’07 said. “Calhoun is very clearly not renovated with the cottage-cheese walls and stuff, and is definitely in need of more work.”

But Suttle said Calhoun functions as the model for all other college renovations. Calhoun was renovated over the summer of 1990, prior to the completion of the Swing Space dormitory, and Suttle said it has already received most of the amenities that are regularly added to the newly-renovated colleges.

Although some students said they can sympathize with the administration’s thoughts on the matter, others pointed out that there are rooms in their colleges that need to be renovated.

“I understand why they’re not doing it, because we were built so much later than the other colleges,” Stiles resident Rachel Pennacchio ’07 said. “With Stiles, though, I think the recreation room with the pool table has been leaking several times this year, and that should definitely be fixed.”

Still, Davenport students currently spending their senior year in Swing Space said those in Calhoun, Morse and Stiles are fortunate that they will not have to move.

“It’s disappointing to be in Swing senior year, because our graduation ceremony is going to be in this ugly courtyard instead of in Davenport, and there’s not much we can do about it,” Aryeh Cohen-Wade ’05 said.

Silliman, which underwent some work last summer, will experience more preliminary external renovations this summer and will enter a year-long, extensive renovation in May 2006, followed by Jonathan Edwards beginning in May 2007.

Following the completion of renovations to Jonathan Edwards in 2008, Swing Space will be converted to graduate and professional student housing, though Suttle said the distribution of housing among the different schools is as yet undetermined.

Some Calhoun students have expressed frustration that their college’s facilities, like its gym, will not get a full renovation.
Cody Dashiell-Earp
Some Calhoun students have expressed frustration that their college’s facilities, like its gym, will not get a full renovation.

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