Major campus construction projects to wrap up in coming months

| 10/10/07 12:31am
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Landscaping crews work on the amphitheater outside Novack Cafe. Campus construction projects are progressing at an expected pace, officials said.
by ADRIAN MUNTEANU / The Dartmouth

The most prominent component of the landscaping project will be a grass amphitheater facing Kemeny Hall, which is slated to be finished this term. The new amphitheater will be available for student activities, also serving as a place for events, scheduled functions and possibly even lectures.

"The faculty expressed the idea that it would be great to hold classes there," Jack Wilson, the associate director for planning, said.

Included in the work is an outdoor seating area for Novack Cafe patrons, as well as a paved plaza adjoining the east entrance of the Haldeman Center.

"We see it as a continuation of really nice open spaces," Wilson said.

The new green space covers the former site of the Bradley and Gerry buildings, which were demolished in April. Landscaping and construction work is scheduled for completion during the current Fall term, according to the Office of Planning, Design and Construction.

The renovations currently underway in Hitchcock Hall should also be finished on time, Wilson said, explaining that internal construction should be completed by the published date of January 2008. New exterior windows have been installed and work on dormitory and common rooms has begun.

"All the rooms are being rebuilt," Wilson said. "The rooms are mostly singles, [with] new bathrooms, new study spaces."

He added that the OPDC hoped the renovations would create a living and social space on par with that of other new dormitories.

Those students currently living in New Hampshire Hall will be included in a closed room draw for the new rooms in Hitchcock, as the Office of Residential Life announced during the official room draw last spring. New Hampshire Hall is itself slated for renovation beginning next year.

New Hampshire Hall residents may be forced to find housing elsewhere, however, as Hitchcock has space for 34 fewer students than New Hampshire Hall.

"We're not sure if there will be a surplus," said Murray MacDonald, associate director of housing.

ORL recently sent surveys to current residents of New Hampshire Hall to determine how many students planned to take a leave term, move off-campus or find housing in another dormitory. The results from the survey will be used to determine how the slated room draw will be implemented.

These and other construction-related issues were discussed at an Oct. 9 open house titled "Dartmouth Builds" and sponsored by the Green Key Society. The gathering featured displays of current and future construction projects as well as information on College initiatives underway to increase the efficiency of campus utilities.

One project discussed, in addition to the Hitchcock renovation, was the Tuck Living and Learning Complex, currently under construction north of the River Cluster. The complex is an expansion of the Tuck School and will contain new graduate living and classroom space.

"We're working on enclosing it for the winter ... and getting temporary heat to start working on the inside," Wilson said.

The OPDC lists December 2008 as the complex's expected date of completion.

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