As the University moves forward on the possible construction of two new residential colleges, more details about renovations to the existing residential colleges emerged this weekend.
The next four years will see renovations of Jonathan Edwards, Calhoun, Morse and Ezra Stiles colleges, though the order of the last two still remains undecided. Perhaps the most significant changes will be to Stiles and Morse, which will be modified to include suite-style rooms. JE and Calhoun have already had partial renovations and Morse and Stiles were built 20 to 30 years after the other 10 colleges, but changes in student rooms will figure heavily into all four renovations, University officials said yesterday.
The upcoming renovations are intended to provide more parity to the colleges’ mix of living arrangements, University Planner Laura Cruickshank said. Morse and Stiles, built in the late 1950s and early 1960s, are the only two of the 12 residential colleges not to feature suites with multiple bedrooms off of a single common room. While the renovations will create many suites within the college, there will still be some singles and walk-through triples.
Eero Saarinen ’34, the architect responsible for Ingalls Rink and the St. Louis Arch, intentionally designed the two college without suites in an attempt to emphasize the individual. His efforts satisfied student desires at the time, Cruickshank said. In the 1950s, World War II veterans were returning to classes while new students continued to enroll, and overcrowding was becoming a problem at the University, she said.
“Space was at a premium,” she said. “Cesar Pelli [who worked with Saarinen at the time] said when they investigated what everyone wanted, everyone wanted a single room.”
In a report to University planners last year, Philadelphia-based architecture firm KieranTimberlake Associates — which has overseen several of the previous residential college renovations — presented three options for how to proceed with the Stiles and Morse renovations. Each included the introduction of some suite-style rooms, said David Yager, a senior architect and planner with Yale’s Office of Facilities.
The option that was selected also provides for new common spaces to be located in underground additions to the two colleges, Yager said. KieranTimberlake has carried out the preliminary work, but no architect has been selected for the final project, Morse College Master Frank Keil said.
No decision has been made yet on which college will be renovated first, Deputy Provost for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs Lloyd Suttle said. Morse and Stiles share a kitchen, but the renovations would have to be separate since Swing Space would not be able to hold students from both colleges in one year, he said.
But Yager said he is not concerned about how the renovations will proceed.
“Pierson and Davenport shared some space,” he said. “I don’t think it’s an issue.”
The underground additions may be completed separately for each college, or both at the same time, Yager said.
Morse senior James Barton ’07 said while many Morse students have voiced a desire for more suite-style rooms, he believes the preservation of singles is essential.
“The people I’ve spoken to in Morse don’t want to sacrifice singles,” he said.
Jonathan Edwards, which underwent a partial renovation in 1994, will see major changes to its rooms next year, JE Master Gary Haller said. The partial renovation, which included changes to the heating and fire sprinkler systems, left a number of fire doors that opened into bathrooms or other bedrooms. During next year’s renovation, rooms will be reconfigured so all fire doors exit onto a hallway or common room, he said. New suites will be added to the college, but the total number of beds will not go up by more than one or two. Rooms will no longer have bunked beds, turning some triples into doubles, Haller said.
Calhoun, which underwent a partial renovation in 1989 before the other eight colleges had complete renovations beginning in 1998, faces space constraints — just as Morse and Ezra Stiles do — in expanding common spaces, Calhoun Master Jonathan Holloway said.
“We don’t have much room to do anything radical,” he said.
The Calhoun Cabaret will be relocated and expanded, and a new exercise room and dance space will be added to the college, Holloway said. Student rooms will see modest changes, with a fellow’s apartment being converted into a large suite, adding approximately seven beds to the college. But the net number of beds added will be low, since the renovations will attempt to increase the number of singles available for seniors, he said.
Any renovation plans must be approved by the Yale Corporation.