Tarna Zander-Velloso

Winter is coming, and with construction of the two new residential colleges roughly 30 percent complete, construction workers are sealing the walls and bringing in space heaters so they can continue building through the cold and snow.

After breaking ground in April, the University remains on track to complete the construction of the colleges by fall 2017, University spokesman Tom Conroy said. The winter weather will not impede construction of the new colleges but will instead alter the kind of work being done on the buildings, he said. Walls and windows will be covered with plastic tarp as construction focuses on building interior spaces. University President Peter Salovey said these changes arrive as the new colleges take a more recognizable shape.

“We’re at the stage where we can see the shapes of the buildings, the rooflines, the courtyards and where they will be,” Salovey said. “It’s very inspiring, and it’s clear they are going to be beautiful — you can tell that already.”

Salovey added that while construction is on schedule, he is hoping for a mild winter so that it is easier for workers to remain on their current timetable.

Over the winter, Conroy said, construction can continue by sealing parts of the buildings. He added that there have not been discussions of severe winter weather damaging the new colleges. According to a construction worker who asked to remain anonymous due to workplace policy, this winter’s work includes installing ceilings and “sheer rock” on the inside of the buildings. The outside of the new colleges will be built in the spring, he said.

“Work is underway now to enclose, for the winter, part of the project area, and this will allow workers to make progress on interior spaces during the winter months,” Conroy said. “The plan is to install some walls and then cover them with insulation and plastic that allow a little bit of heating in those areas so the workers can work. That will allow work to continue over the winter that we probably would not have been able to do if the area was not covered.”

Conroy said the workers will transition from interior to exterior work in the spring, citing the eventual installation of brick exteriors as an example.

Students have also noticed the colleges taking shape. Yuxuan Ke ’19 said that on recent walks up Prospect Street toward Science Hill, he has been impressed by the structures.

“They look more concrete,” Ke said.

The new colleges were designed by the architecture firm of Robert A.M. Stern, dean of the School of Architecture.