Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, Ledyard will be rebuilt

by Ashley See | 5/7/15 7:50pm

Students who were welcomed to campus at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge during First-Year Trips will find a new building if they return to visit the 77-year-old structure since the Board of Trustees approved a complete rebuilding of the facility to be completed over the next few years.

Since the approval in March, project architects have been working on schematic design for the Lodge and a concept design for a new Ledyard Canoe Club facility with a focus on accessibility, director of outdoor programs Dan Nelson said. Once preliminary designs are sketched, they will be evaluated by two different consultants for price estimates. Then, updated construction costs will be presented and project managers will put together a fundraising schedule that will inform how the projects move forward.

While there have been minor additions and re-adjustments to both facilities over the years, these projects will be the first major renovations either venue has seen since their original construction over 50 years ago, Nelson said. This decision for total renovation of the Lodge stemmed from advice by Maclay Architects, a Vermont-based firm, which evaluated the building last year. The evaluation suggested that a complete rebuilding of the facility would be easier and more cost-effective than renovating the existing structure.

“Both places served us well for decades and decades,” Nelson said. “Now we are trying to better accommodate the very active programs that use them.”

Construction will likely not affect Trips programming, vice president of campus planning and facilities Lisa Hogarty said, and she hopes that the project can be completed in 11 months so that it will not overlap with Trips.

“Our schedule needs to match up with Dartmouth’s academic calendar because we want to try and have as little impact on activities that students use these facilities for as possible,” Hogarty said.

Ledyard, which was originally constructed in the 1960s, closed in the fall and is in need of updates, Ledyard president Michael Baicker ’17 said. He said he hopes construction plans will include additional space for boats and gear, an expanded kitchen as well as increased meeting space for members to host events.

“We are hoping that the new plan for building will be two stories,” Baicker said. “The idea is that we would like the new clubhouse to connect to the parking lot where our trailers are and then to the river for our boats.”

Of importance to project planners is accessibility, both Hogarty and Baicker said. Currently, neither the Lodge nor Ledyard meet the standards described in Americans with Disabilities Act, which is required for construction projects beginning on or after March 15, 2012, according to ADA.org.

In addition, planners will work to make the buildings as sustainable as possible, Hogarty said.

“We want to make as small a greenhouse gas footprint as possible,” she said.

These renovations will address the condition of the facilities themselves and increased usage, which has “outgrown the current space and configuration of space available,” Nelson said.

Nelson emphasized that the programming hosted in both of these facilities will not change before, during or after construction, but will be relocated for the duration of the rebuilding.

Furthermore, the purpose of the buildings will not change, and Ledyard plans will not include residential spaces.

Since the close of the clubhouse in the fall, there has been a decrease in activity at Ledyard, Baicker said.

“I think a new clubhouse will increase membership and interest,” he said.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni have expressed the importance of keeping the original, rustic feel of the Lodge during renovations. Nelson said planners and architects will keep this in mind as they sketch the preliminary designs for the structure.