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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Hitchcock renovation to continue until 2008

Hitchcock residence hall has been undergoing renovations since the middle of October, which has kept one of Dartmouth's most conveniently located residence halls out of commission. Dartmouth currently plans to reopen Hitchcock in winter 2008.

The College chose Hitchcock for renovations because it lagged behind other buildings in many basic areas, Residential Operations Director Woody Eckels said.

"Hitchcock was one of the remaining buildings on campus that did not have a sprinkler system, and it had a very poor heating system with little control," Eckels said. "You would notice windows open in the dead of winter."

When Hitchcock reopens it will be home to an improved heating system, a new electrical system, an emergency generator, more durable windows and bathrooms similar to those in the new Fahey and McLane dorms. Some of these upgrades will help make Hitchcock more energy efficient.

The residence hall will also feature an elevator, making the entire building wheelchair accessible.

Because the Hitchcock renovation is currently in the demolition phase, Dartmouth erected a fence around the building. Although this fence does not block many walking paths, it obstructs a portion of Gile lawn.

Because all of the data and telephone technology for Gile and Lord residence halls went through Hitchcock's basement, the Office of Residential Life had to move the switchboard this past summer.

Although they are part of a larger campus-wide plan, the Hitchcock renovations are far more comprehensive than the routine improvements ORL completes on older buildings over Summer terms.

Even though Hitchcock was unable to house students this fall, the opening of the McLaughlin, Fahey and McLane residence halls more than make up for the loss of Hitchcock's beds.

"It's a good thing that they are updating the older dorms to meet current building standards," Daniel Dittrick '08 said. "There was a net gain of beds since last year, so it's not too bad that Hitchcock is not open."

The downside of renovation has been the loud construction work done early in the day.

"It's just kind of annoying to be woken up really early in the morning sometimes," Allison Miller '10 said.

ORL is optimistic that Hitchcock will turn out well in 2008.

"When it is done, everybody will look at it and say, 'Isn't it great we can live in such nice new buildings?'" Eckels said.