Construction begins on Triangle House

by Hannah Hye Min Chung | 10/23/13 10:00pm

Construction has begun on the Triangle House, a new affinity house for the LGBT community and its allies at 4 North Park Street, formerly a residence for staff and faculty.

Located just north of Alpha Phi sorority, the Triangle House will have 25 beds, a two-room apartment for an advisor and social spaces on the first floor and in the basement. Approved by the Board of Trustees in late September, it is expected to cost $3.6 million and is slated for occupancy in fall 2014

Planning for the house, first announced in June, has been aided by the Dartmouth Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Alumni/ae Association.

Board member Susanne Kandel '00 and Tim Stanne '03, met with architects to select a house design and led discussions on programming objectives and academic prerequisites for residents.

"I, personally, am very pleased to see the Triangle House become a reality," Kandel said in an email. "It was something that was discussed in the abstract when I was a student, so to have it finally happen and to know that future generations of Dartmouth students will be able to have the benefit of both a physical space to call their own, and the programming that goes along with it, is very exciting."

Kandel added that the Triangle House's construction will put the LGBT community on par with other "historically marginalized" communities that have obtained physical plants, and broaden residential opportunities beyond current gender neutral housing.

Residential Operations director David Eckels said renovations to 4 North Park Street have involved curbing excessive soil dust creation from floor tiles and mastics as well as reconfiguring the building's interior structure. A contractor placed footing drains around the perimeter of the building earlier this month to waterproof the foundation.

"The hope is to get much of this exterior work completed by the start of winter conditions," Eckels said.

Members of Dartmouth IvyQ, which hopes to bring the annual IvyQ conference to campus next fall, said they see the house as a promising site where students can discuss LGBT issues. "We hope that the Triangle House can serve as a 24-hour space that members of campus can congregate and feel safe hanging out in," Akash Kar '16, a co-chair for the group's bid process, said in an email. "We also hope that there are some social spaces that can be used for events such as mixers, dances, and dinners that we would like to host for the community."

Yejadai Dunn '16, a member of the LGBT community, said she saw great potential in the recent advances in the affinity housing program.

"With anything in life, you get out of it what you put into it," Dunn said. "I believe the LGBTQ affinity is an example of such and I'm excited to see what staff, faculty, and students put into this new addition to the Dartmouth community."

While peer institutions including Harvard University, Stanford University, Brown University, Princeton University and the University of Chicago offer gender neutral housing, only a handful, such as Carleton College and the University of California, Santa Cruz, offer a specifically designed residential hall for LGBT community members.

Advertise your student group in The Dartmouth for free!