Yale’s final plan for the renovation of Pierson College, set to begin in the summer of 2003, includes a new three-story building and a footbridge, University Planner Pamela Delphenich said Wednesday.
The renovation will target greater accessibility to the college through gates and tunnels and the development of a shared recreation space with Davenport College. The main goals of the renovations — similar to those of past college renovations — are to increase the number of beds in the college, improve the living situation, and provide greater accessibility, Delphenich said. The reconfiguration of Pierson will allow for an increase of 38 beds.
The new addition to Pierson will be located in the courtyard near the York Street gate entrance, currently known as “the Beach.” The addition of approximately 11,500 square feet — referred to as Upper Court — will consist of 18 rooms.
The addition will be constructed of brick but will blend with the architecture of the Fence Club and the Rose Alumni Building, said David Yager, Yale’s senior architect for facilities and project manager for the renovation.
“It’s sort of indicative of what the original architect [of Pierson] would have done,” Yager said.
The current fellows’ offices near the small courtyard will be converted into bedrooms, while new fellows’ offices will be created facing Park Street.
A second gate leading to the new addition will be created off the Pierson walk, which currently goes from York Street to Pierson’s main gate. The addition will be connected by tunnel and elevator to the rest of the college, allowing for greater accessibility.
The Pierson renovation has been designed in conjunction with plans for Davenport College, which will be renovated in the 2004-05 school year.
“Because they’re physically linked, we chose to develop plans for both colleges,” Delphenich said. “We needed to think of them as a whole.”
The physical renovation will overlap to an extent as well, with some rooms in Davenport not being used in the 2003-04 school year because of the Pierson renovation.
The basement renovation in Pierson will also be an area of overlap. Following the renovation, Davenport and Pierson will share a significant amount of activity space.
After consulting with students, the University has decided that Pierson and Davenport will now share certain recreational space in the basements below the colleges. Because the space will be shared, there is room for four music rooms, including one large enough to accommodate a choral group; a theater with sloped, permanent seating; and other activity rooms.
“[The students] were a little hesitant at first, because they wanted to keep the identity of the colleges,” Yager said. “But they saw the advantages of it.”
Delphenich said the colleges will retain their own butteries and other spaces unique to the colleges.
“Making sure that this works and preparing for this — that’s very important,” said Pierson Master Harvey Goldblatt. “It allows for resources that the colleges might not otherwise have.”
Other planned changes include a reconfiguration of the Pierson dining hall, including a separate space for the servery, complete with a skylight, and a redesigned kitchen. The unique features of the dining hall will be restored.
“You’ve got this gorgeous dining room which [will be] returned to its original design,” Yager said.
Pierson’s small tower, which currently houses a computer room, will be renovated to include a common room and three bedrooms. Pierson’s library will be expanded with carrels and a mezzanine, Yager said.
Yager said the Pierson renovation also includes plans for increased access to the college near the “lost space” between the Fence Club and 212 York St., which has posed some security problems in the past.
“The area behind [the Pierson Lower Court] has been neglected for years,” Goldblatt said. “I think [the renovation] will increase the safety on what’s called Fraternity Row.”
A bridge will be constructed 4 feet above the courtyards behind Pierson’s Upper Court and there will be a new gate in the brick wall that runs past the Yale Cabaret, allowing for additional access to Pierson.
Goldblatt said the renovation will also include changes to Pierson’s plumbing, heating and electrical systems. Air conditioning will also be installed in all public spaces.
“It’s also a very functional renovation project,” Goldblatt said.