Despite a decision to switch contractors at the beginning of the summer, renovations on Timothy Dwight College and its annex space, Rosenfeld Hall, have stayed on schedule as the project’s construction phase approaches being 25 percent complete.
After originally naming one of the nation’s largest construction firms, Turner Construction Company, as the main contractor for the project, the University instead decided to rehire Fusco Corp. shortly before construction began more than four months ago.
“We weren’t satisfied that we had made the right choice, so we decided to make a change,” Facilities Project Director Arch Currie said.
The decision makes New Haven-based Fusco, which also handled the Saybrook College project, the first contractor to renovate two separate colleges.
University planner Pamela Delphenich said the project has had no major problems.
“It’s perfectly on schedule,” she said. “I have been hearing nothing but good things.”
Contractors have completed the demolition phase of the construction and are preparing to start building and renovating.
Currie said Rosenfeld Hall bore the brunt of the demolition phase. Contractors are now preparing to frame a new roof for the expanded attic space in the annex building.
While construction in TD itself is less visible, all aspects of the renovation have started.
“There is not a square inch of any of the buildings that is not under construction,” Currie said.
In the college, most of the existing walls and partitions will remain. Within the existing spaces, however, renovations such as modernization of bathrooms are well under way.
Although the size and location of living rooms in the college will remain the same, the construction will still allow for the same rooming flexibility given to the other renovated colleges.
“There are flexible layout options that are possible,” Currie said. “That will happen in Timothy Dwight, as it has happened in the other colleges. It will be possible to combine adjoining suites.”
The rooming configuration of Rosenfeld Hall, which consists mostly of singles, will also not change, but the annex space will grow with the construction of new rooms in the attic space, Currie added.
TD is the first Georgian college the University has renovated. The other three renovated colleges — Berkeley, Branford and Saybrook colleges — are all Gothic style.
Although planners correctly assumed the Georgian colleges would be simpler, complications over issues like the preservation of wooden windows have arisen. The wooden windows of the Georgian colleges were not designed for long-term use, which the steel windows of the Gothic colleges were.
“We’re replacing some windows and refurbishing other windows,” Delphenich said. “It presents problems of insulation and maintenance.”
The project’s biggest problem, however, remains the University’s trouble raising funds for the renovation. Yale officials hope that gifts will cover about half of the $44.4 million needed for the renovation, but the University still has not found a major donor.
“The president is always seeking to find gifts for the colleges,” Provost Alison Richard said. “Meanwhile, the project moves ahead.”