Gregory College House due for clean up renovations
Renovations to the floor, paint, ceilings of Gregory will begin in May and continue in summer of 2014
March 13, 2013, 10:59 pm·
After over 30 years, Gregory College House will finally get renovated.
In May, the Class of 1925 building of the college house will get new furniture, flooring, paint and ceilings, or what John Eckman, director of Residential Services is calling “more of a cleaning up renovation.”
The $5 million project, approved by the Board of Trustees in February, will begin this May and continue next summer. Gregory, which consists of two buildings, will keep its current floor plan and structure.
“We’re delighted that Gregory is finally being scheduled for some significant facilities improvement,” Dean of Gregory College House Christopher Donovan said.
The renovation of Gregory College House, which will begin this summer and continue next summer, is “part of our ongoing plan to renovate all of our existing housing,” said Doug Berger, executive director of Business Services.
The college house renovations first began in 1999 with the four-summer long renovation of the Quadrangle. After the renovations of the Quad were completed, the high rises were renovated over seven summers, after which Du Bois College House, Kings Court/English House, and Mayer Hall were also renovated.
Besides installation of a sprinkler system, there has been no work done at Gregory since the advent of the college house system in 1998.
The Class of 1925 building has not been renovated since the 1980s, and Gregory’s Van Pelt building since the 1970s, according to Donovan. The Class of 1925 building, which houses approximately 60 residents, will be worked on this summer. The Van Pelt building, which houses approximately 180 residents, will likely be renovated during the summer of 2014.
“This has been a terrible shame because in many ways Gregory is an ideal college house community,” said Donovan. “Gregory residents deserve better facilities, and it is a tribute to their enthusiasm and unique character that so many of them have invested so deeply in this place over the years despite that dire need for a facelift.”
In addition to work done in living spaces, the biggest impact on students will be the new furniture for the entire building, according to Eckman. Lounges, as well as the front reception areas, will also be updated.
“The Gregory renovation is fairly modest,” said Eckman. “We only have about six or seven weeks to do the whole thing, so that really drives what we can get done.”
Residential Services worked closely with Donovan, along with a group of 10 to 20 students, to decide what areas needed the most work.
“Our improvement committee — comprised of residents from all four class years — stressed the need for enhancements to both student rooms, which are generous in size but lack updated furniture, flooring and plumbing, and public spaces, which are aesthetically challenged, to put things mildly,” said Donovan.
“There’s been a really nice back-and-forth with a representative group of students,” added Eckman.
The renovations may also have an impact on the residential program housed in the Class of 1925 building — the Modern Language Program, which is a space for speakers of Arabic, Chinese, French, German and Spanish. Participating students, with exception to Chinese speakers, get academic credit for their participation.
“We feel the deteriorating conditions have become a liability in recent years, dissuading students from moving in and taking advantage of this distinctive resource on campus,” Donovan said.
In addition to the renovation of the Class of 1925 building, there will also be work done in other College Houses. The community kitchens in the Quad will be updated, and in Hill College House, the library and East lounge will be given “a complete facelift this summer,” said Eckman.
The renovations will go on until Aug. 8, during which time the house will be closed to everyone except year-round permanent faculty residents.
Donovan added, “I only wish our amazing senior class, almost all of whom have lived in the House since their freshman year, had been able to enjoy the updates.”