The University plans to close English House for the next academic year as part of continuing expansions and renovations in North campus. The 176-person dormitory will remain without residents as workers move the building's entrance from Chestnut Street to Sansom Street, rebuild the King's Court/English House dining commons, and remodel some English House facilities. The changes are designed to integrate the building with the changing landscape of North campus. The new campus center will be constructed at 36th and Walnut streets, and several other new buildings and restructurings are planned for the surrounding area. The renovations will help "give [the dormitory] more of a sense of being a part of the main campus," Deputy Vice Provost George Koval said yesterday. Koval said the Office of University Life has considered the renovations for the past two years but has not acted before now because of lack of funding. The closing is planned to facilitate massive Law School construction. University Life officials said performing the construction in conjunction with Law School construction will save the University money. The exact source for funding the changes to English House has not been found, Koval said. Koval and Senior Vice President Marna Whittington are working to find funding for the renovations. Koval declined to give the cost of the dormitory renovations, but the Trustees passed a resolution in October approving the renovations and recommending that the University spend approximately $593,000 in the project. According to the architecture's schedule, the English House renovations will begin June 1, 1991, giving time for Residential Living to move furniture out of English House rooms after students leave. Koval said that it will be easy to accomodate the 176 students who could live in English House next year in either Hill House, the Quadrangle, or the high rise freshmen project. Koval said the Office of Residential Living is not sure whether the high rise project would expand a floor due to the English House closing. Architectural plans for the renovations, which University Life officials received this week, call for the English House basement to be converted into a "ground floor," with the residences' dining commons and a new main entrance to Kings Court/English House at Sansom Street, Koval said. Currently, the basement of English House holds library space, computing facilities, laundry machines and the PSA commissary. The English House dining commons, which presently are combined with Law School dining services, are currently on the first floor. First-year students currently living in English House said that while they like living in English House now, they are excited about next year's renovations. "If you close [English House] and make it better, the benefits are greater than the loss of people not living here," Engineering freshman Elizabeth Whitehall said. And College freshman Anne Hyson said that even though she does not feel cut off from campus living in English house, she knows other people feel her North campus residence is far from the center of activity. "I feel like I can get to campus fine," Hyson said. "Others don't think North campus is very close."Comments powered by Disqus
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