ORL to renovate dorms

by Suparna Dutta | 5/12/94 5:00am

This summer the Fayer-weather cluster of dormitories will undergo substantial renovations and the Choates cluster of dorms will get some minor ones.

The $750,000 renovations to the Fayerweathers will include the installation of carpeting throughout the cluster, new lighting, new furniture and improvements to the heating system to reduce pipe banging, said Woody Eckels, director of residential operations.

In addition, rooms will be painted, a sprinkler system will be installed and the computer and phone wiring will be upgraded, Eckels said.

The renovations will be similar to the ones made last summer to New Hampshire Hall, Eckels said.

"The Fayerweathers are also getting new emergency generators for emergency equipment when the power goes out," Eckels said. "This one will not be battery operated, since the batteries are very expensive to replace ... Also, the battery generators are not as reliable and batteries are not environmentally very friendly."

Eckels said ORL will slightly alter the set-up of rooms in the cluster, which will necessitate some changes in the bathrooms.

"The cluster will remain coed by floor, but the sexes of the floors will be swapped. For example, in Mid-Fayerweather, the third floor, which is now male, will become female," Eckels said.

The Fayerweathers will reopen for the Fall term.

The Choates will be closed this summer in conjunction with a steam tunnel project that will prevent the cluster of dormitories from receiving hot water.

While closed, the buildings will undergo renovations that will include new desks and bunkable beds, new lighting and the installation of ceramic tiles in dorm entrances and kitchens, Eckels said.

In addition, dividers will be installed between showers to give students more privacy, Eckels said.

Renovations to the Choates will cost approximately $300,000, he said.

The steam tunnel construction will replace a worn out steam line that runs from the Webster Avenue side of the Rockefeller Center for the Social Sciences to the Choates and supplies steam to 11 buildings including the four Choate residence halls.

"There is an old, direct, buried steam line which was installed in the 50's when the Choates were built. This line has deteriorated and has had numerous leaks, especially over the past five years, so it has to be replaced," said John Gratiot, associate director of Facilities Operations and Management.

The Choates are traditionally used in the summer for camps, such as a debate camp, which use the College's facilities, but Eckels said they will be housed in other dorms, one of which is Russell Sage.

"There is never a problem finding housing for everyone in the summer, and usually every summer a dormitory is closed, such as New Hamp was last year," Eckels said.

Eckels said ORL was unable to announce the renovations before students applied for Fall term housing because the renovation budgets had not yet been approved..

"When we do projects, there are usually large amounts of money involved. The budgets are proposed in December and passed in May. We can't announce our plans in advance because there is always the possibility that someone may say no."

The final budget is approved by the Board of Trustees and the Treasurer of the College.

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