Yale students currently living in the Hall of Graduate Studies will move out at the end of this year, but the recently renovated Baker Hall and a newly constructed housing complex at 272 Elm Street aim to accommodate for renovations to HGS.
Over 100 graduate students will be displaced as a result of the renovations, which will transform the 85-year-old building into a humanities hub. Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Lynn Cooley addressed the issue in a Feb. 9 email outlining the upcoming housing options available to graduate students. Specifically, Cooley said, Yale Housing has plans to replace HGS’s 169 dorm unit beds with 222 additional beds for graduate and professional students. The newly developed housing complex at 272 Elm St. adds 82 new beds for students, while the Law School’s renovated Baker Hall adds 110 beds for graduate and professional students. Graduate and professional students will also have priority for 30 beds in University-owned properties managed by Elm Campus Partners at 43 Whalley Ave., 11 Dixwell Ave. and 142 York St., Cooley added.
Graduate students had the opportunity to learn more about the housing options in greater New Haven at the Yale Housing Office’s fourth annual housing fair, which took place on Sunday.
“Planning for 272 Elm St. project took place in the Provost’s Office a few years ago,” she told the News. “The overall goal was to ensure that the total number of housing units for graduate and professional students would not be reduced as a result of transforming HGS into a hub for the humanities.”
The 135 current graduate students in HGS will have priority for all of Graduate Housing’s dormitories in 2018–19, Cooley said in the email, including the new building at 272 Elm St. She added that, although law students have priority in Baker Hall, administrators anticipate there being space for graduate students as well.
The housing complex at 272 Elm St. was designed after consultation with students who said they wanted more apartment-style options, as opposed to traditional dormitories, Cooley said. George Longyear Jr., director of Yale Housing, said the University worked in conjunction with members of the Graduate Student Assembly and the Graduate and Professional Student Senate to construct the facility.
Longyear believes 272 Elm St. will house mostly graduate students in its inaugural year.
“We’re pretty confident that we’re going to have a large number of HGS students that are going to want to go to those properties,” Longyear said. “We’re really not sure what that residual number will be available for others.”
The renovated Baker Hall, which will provide 110 beds for graduate and professional students, formerly served as housing for students annexed from undergraduate dorms in Yale College. Renovations to the building — constructed in 1931 — began in July of 2017.
Savannah Thais GRD ’20, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, said the new accommodations will likely provide adequate living space even after HGS closes. Still, Thais said, she worries that closing HGS may affect the sense of community among graduate and professional students.
“I think it’s a little disappointing that HGS is closing as a dorm,” Thais said. “There’s going to be enough replacement beds and everything, but it’s going to be a bit more spread out between different buildings. I think there are some grad students who are concerned about a little bit of a loss of community that’s built in HGS.”
Beyond HGS, there are five on-campus graduate student dormitories for the 2017–18 school year: ES Harkness Hall, Helen Hadley Hall, 276 Prospect St. and 254 Prospect St.
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