Campus construction continues

by Valerie Silverman | 10/26/01 5:00am

Scaffolding, cranes and hard-hat workers are now a de facto part of Dartmouth's landscape, and the continued construction projects have left some students wondering -- will the sound of clattering metal ever cease on this supposedly quaint, quiet college campus?

"This is an interesting time," said Jack Wilson, Assistant Director of Facilities Planning. Construction is taking place "on every front," he said.

The most prominent of all projects is the ongoing work around Baker-Berry libraries. Carson Hall, the future home of the history department (currently situated in Reed Hall) should be open by next summer, according to Wilson.

Carson Hall, being built on the west side of Berry Library, will bring the history department closer to the other social sciences in Rockefeller and Silsby. Also, "proximity to the library is great. Every scholar wants to be near the library," Wilson said.

Planners are still unsure about Reed Hall's use, but it will "definitely be used to meet critical space needs on Dartmouth Row," Wilson said.

Construction on the Baker-Berry project began in March 1998. The doors to Berry opened in September 2000, and workers are still trying to perfect the flow between the old and new libraries.

Parts of the old stacks, the map room and an elevator in the southeast corner of Baker are still under renovation. Work is almost complete on a connector from the top of the stairs of the first floor of Berry to the main entrance of Baker.

According to Wilson, the idea is to keep a smooth and steady flow from the center of campus and the Green through to the north end of campus.

In a less apparent yet comparably large undertaking, Buildings 37 and 50, located north of Dick's House, are being renovated to accommodate administrative computing, instructional services, and part of the controller's office. The building are referred to by the years in which they were built.

According to Wilson, such a move will "free up more space in McNutt and the center of campus for more student-oriented functions and will increase efficiency and utilization of space."

"A lot of projects are oriented towards making buildings more energy efficient," such as the recent heating ventilation, glazing and spatial reconfiguration of Leverone Field House, Wilson said.

Parkhurst recently underwent repairs and renovations that brought the building up to accessibility codes and reorganized the space slightly in order to modernize it.

Similar renovations are taking place in all residence halls. Last summer, three Community Director apartments were constructed in spaces that were previously student rooms in Richardson, Hitchcock and New Hampshire Halls.

Plans for a complete renovation of Hitchcock were "put on hold because we were unable to guarantee that we could do an entire renovation in one summer," said Woody Eckels, Director of Residential Operations.

With only 10 weeks to complete full-scale projects, "there's no wiggle room on the ends. If we're not done, there's nowhere for students to live," said Eckels.

Under regulations passed by the Student Life Initiative, all residential buildings on campus, including Greek houses, must comply with new standards and regulations.

"The Office of Residential Operations is working with non-College-owned fraternities in finalizing facilities audits," Eckels said.

As for the housing shortage, plans for a new dormitory next to Butterfield and Russell-Sage and on the north side of campus are still in the works. Such facilities would not open for the next three to four years, according to Eckels.

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