With Schwarzman Center construction set to force University President Peter Salovey and Secretary Kimberly Goff-Crews to move out of Woodbridge Hall in August, Yale is reshuffling a host of other administrative offices to accommodate Salovey and Goff-Crew’s move. It remains unclear how much the renovations that will accompany the reshuffle will cost.
In the coming months, Yale Facilities and outside contractors will renovate an additional entrance on the first floor of Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall — where the offices of the president and secretary will move — as well as construct an additional reception area, among other renovations. Vice President for Communications Eileen O’Connor told the News the moves will likely cost less than $1 million, but the final figure — only part of which will be covered by Stephen Schwarzman ’69, the donor financing the construction project — has yet to be determined.
“The plan that has us all moving in dominoes was designed by [the Provost’s Office],” Salovey said. “So much of the construction is underground under Beinecke Plaza, and we’re within the blue fence.”
While the Woodbridge Hall offices will officially make the move to SSS in August, some administrators have already moved into their new locations. Over spring break, the Yale College administration left SSS, with the offices of Student Engagement and Student Affairs moving to the second floor of 55 Whitney Ave. and the Yale College Dean’s Office relocating to Warner House.
As administrators move to new locations, many have had to consolidate space.
Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Tamar Gendler said members of her staff on the second and third floors of Warner House consolidated to convert offices previously shared by two to three people into ones now shared by three to four people.
In addition to the costs, other logistical details of the reshuffling remain unclear. O’Connor said the University has not decided on a new location for Yale Corporation meetings, which usually take place in the Corporation Room of Woodbridge Hall.
Salovey’s move to SSS will be the first time a University president has moved out of Woodbridge Hall for more than a year since it was built in 1901 as part of the University’s bicentennial celebration.
In 2004, former University President Richard Levin moved into Betts House on top of Science Hill for under a year due to renovations on Woodbridge Hall. Former University Secretary Sam Chauncey ’57 noted that administrators remained in Woodbridge during the construction of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, despite loud noise from the nearby construction site.
“While I wish the president and secretary did not have to leave Woodbridge Hall, the symbolic home of Yale’s leaders, and also have the Yale College Dean’s Office move, I hope it can be arranged that each will return to their original home as soon as possible,” Chauncey said.
He added that newer office buildings like Whitney Grove Square were built so as to be easily reconfigured, but old Yale buildings are harder and more expensive to renovate. He questioned why Yale would go to such lengths to accommodate a short-term project.
Asked why the University chose to relocate several administrative offices rather than just move Woodbridge to Betts House, O’Connor said the building is currently home to other offices. The relocation plans drafted by the Provost’s Office ensure that the offices are as centrally located as possible, she added.
But some administrators have welcomed the move. Gendler said the move has allowed her, Yale College Dean Marvin Chun and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean Lynn Cooley to work under the same roof and coordinate responsibilities. The reshuffling also conveniently relocates the offices of Student Engagement and Student Affairs to the same building as Center for International and Professional Experience, Chun said, adding that he hopes students find them conveniently located.
In a statement to the News, Goff-Crews said her office will wait until the end of the term to make the necessary preparations for the move and devise a communication plan to ensure that members of the University know where to find her office. The facilities department will coordinate the move, she added.
Before Woodbridge Hall, the Office of the President was housed in the Treasury Building, which was demolished in 1901.
Hailey Fuchs | firstname.lastname@example.org