When a new freshman class arrives at Penn next fall, ready for a toga party, a night at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and whatever else New Student Orientation has in store, there will some big changes to campus housing.
Hill College House will be out of commission next year for some much needed renovations. This is great news for incoming freshmen fearing an assignment to the place The New York Times called a dorm “you’ll never see on the campus tour.”
However, Hill’s closure also means no Hill brunch, which is bad news for those in search of weekend morning blueberry pancakes.
While Hill’s closure is sure to draw mixed emotions, the most noticeable change will be right next door with the addition of the New College House. First envisioned in the late 1990s as a four-year residential program similar to Du Bois, Gregory and Stouffer, the New College House will house 340 freshmen to compensate for Hill’s closure.
Sansom West, typically an upperclassmen and graduate dorm, will become a college house this year and serve as a dorm for some freshmen.
The New College House will offer suite style housing for three to six students per room. Each room will also include either one or two private bathrooms and a furnished living room with couches and a television set.
Executive Director of Business Services Doug Berger said student input was a driving factor in the decision to build a suite-style dorm.
“We did a lot of student research and listening to what other schools are building,” Berger said.
Berger also noted that every room in New College House will offer “its own personality” with no two rooms being exactly the same.
The newly minted college house will also have lounges on each floor, communal kitchens, multimedia rooms and a courtyard.
New College House will even have a 175-seat dining hall located under a “lifted lawn walkway,” so students aimlessly searching for Hill brunch won’t have to walk far.
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