College to weigh rebuilding Lodge

by Katie Rafter | 11/12/14 8:23pm

A local architecture company has recommended the rebuilding of Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, built in 1938, and the College will tear down the Ledyard Clubhouse.

Director of outdoor programs Daniel Nelson said student input will be key as plans for the Lodge move forward. Some students have objected to the College’s decision to rebuild Ledyard without a residential space.

Vermont-based Maclay Architects assessed the Lodge and concluded that renovating would be more complicated than completely rebuilding it.

The company concluded that, to bring the building up to date on current building codes, its foundations, mechanical systems and many of the logs must be replaced, Nelson said.

Replacement has the advantage of requiring a smaller building footprint, requiring less space, a longer life span for building, less costly maintenance andlower energy costs,” Nelson said.

An effort would be made to emulate as many of the Lodge’s original features as possible, he added.

“Consulting architects had lots of ideas for ways in which some of the ambiance and features of the current Lodge that mean so much topeople could be retained in a new building,” he said.

Maclay Architects presented these findings last weekend to the Moosilauke advisory committee, as well as some representatives of the Dartmouth Outing Club advisory committee and DOC leadership. Nelson said these groups agreed that replacing the Lodge would be a more logical and sensible option than renovating it.

He said, however, that the decision is not final. Because the Lodge is a College structure, the Board of Trustees must approve any suggestions before further steps are taken. He said he did not know whether the issue would be discussed at the Board’s next meeting in March.

“The Moosilauke advisory committee and DOC advisory committee are justthat, advisory committees,” he said.

Rebuilding would not begin immediately. Vice president of campus planning and facilities Lisa Hogarty said that there are many steps to a project like this, and the planning stage is incomplete.

Hogarty added that fundraising will be an important factor. She said the project’s overall cost has not yet been determined, but noted that any fundraising campaign must be “very ambitious and successful.”

Hogarty emphasized the importance of student feedback.

“As soon as we’ve got the green light, students will be an integral part of the planning progress,” she said.

Nelson also spoke to the importance of student involvement at the Lodge, and said that it has been conveyed to Maclay Architects.

“They heard loud and clear feedback that they really value the atmosphere and connection with Dartmouth traditions and history,” he said.

DOC first-year trips director Peety Kaur ’15 said that while some people may be upset about the prospect of the Lodge — which has long welcomed students during trips — being torn down, it could bring new possibilities, like more space for dancing and other activities during Trips.

The College also plans to rebuild the Ledyard Clubhouse. The clubhouse, which used to house a few students, was vacated last fall following water intrusion and mold buildup. Hogarty said the College will eliminate the residential component when Ledyard is rebuilt.

Club member Anne Muller ’18 expressed her disapproval with the plans by posting a suggestion on Improve Dartmouth, arguing that “we need more residential social spaces on campus — not fewer.” As of press time, the post had received 561 agree votes and one disagree.

Improve Dartmouth co-founder and Ledyard member Esteban Castaño ’14 wrote in an email that he believes the post demonstrates how much Ledyard means to the College as a home and a community.

He wrote that since residents were made to vacate the clubhouse in October 2013, the building has become less of a social space.

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