Hitchcock Hall to open next term

by Ben Nunnery | 11/29/07 1:44am

Although Hitchcock was completely gutted, Redman said that planners attempted to maintain the original aesthetic of the building.
by The Dartmouth / The Dartmouth

"I think we were more concerned about that in October than we are now," he said. "The contractors are saying we will have it for you."

The vast majority of the expected Hitchcock residents currently reside in New Hampshire Hall. Students chose New Hamp with the understanding that they would have the option to move into Hitchcock for Winter term. New Hamp is scheduled to be closed this winter for renovation.

According to Redman, 80 of New Hamp's 120 fall residents are planning to move into Hitchcock for Winter term, while the other 40 are either off campus or have chosen to live elsewhere.

While it appears relatively certain that Hitchcock will be finished in time for Winter term, the timetable for the transfer of New Hamp residents' belongings is less concrete. Redman said that impacted students were notified of three move-in possibilities: if the building is completed, the students will be able to move their belongings into Hitchcock at the end of Fall term, or they will box their belongings and they will be moved for them over winter break.

If the building is not completed by the move-in date, the students will pack their belongings and will remain in New Hamp until Hitchcock is ready partway through Winter term. Redman said he is "90 percent sure" that the first option will be implemented and said he plans to notify affected students after a project meeting early next week.

Mark Harris '09, the first floor undergraduate advisor for New Hamp, said that although the Office of Residential Life has not yet told New Hamp residents when or how they will move their possessions, ORL has begun to provide boxes and labels to the students who will be moving to Hitchcock.

These boxes and labels will be delivered to New Hamp by Thursday afternoon this week, according to an e-mail sent to New Hamp residents by Monique Roy, the community director of the cluster that includes Hitchcock.

Although Hitchcock was completely gutted, Redman said that planners attempted to maintain the original aesthetic of the building.

"We did the best we could to retain the old charm of the building," he said. "The new main, two-story lounge will have the same flavor. We even kept the old stair rails to use for the balcony."

When Hitchcock was built in 1914, it was designed to accommodate 86 students, but the occupancy was later raised to 118 as housing demand increased.

Hitchcock will consist of approximately 70 percent single rooms and 30 percent two-room doubles after the renovation.

The funds for the renovations come from an account separate from the general Dartmouth fund, one that is supplied by students' housing fees, Redman said.

"This is room rent dollars at work," he said. "This isn't a fundraising project. We are using the money generated from room rent through loans. The money is used to pay our rather large mortgage with 32 percent of our operating budget being mortgage."

The renovation of Hitchcock is part of a larger residential renovation program that will continue with the revamping of New Hamp. Redman estimates that the timetable for New Hamp's renovation will be similar to Hitchcock's, lasting between 18 and 24 months. The initial four months will be spent in abatement, removing hazardous plaster containing asbestos, and demolition. The New Hamp renovation will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the building's erection in 1908.

After the New Hamp renovations are complete, Redman speculated that the Massachusetts Row Residence Halls will be next to be restored, followed by the Fayerweather residence halls or the Gold Coast residence halls.