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Workers renovate and clean the outside of the Quadrangle along the 36th Street walkway. Renovations, which are taking place throughout the Quad, are part of a four-year, multi-million dollar plan to revamp the aging complex. [Ben Rosenau/The Summer Pen

With construction already well underway, the Quadrangle is in the final phase of a four-year project geared toward its complete revitalization.

Over the course of the next two months, workers will complete a series of internal and external renovations on Woodland College House -- the triangle-shaped section in the upper Quad.

These renovations will include installing air-conditioning in the building, turning a number of student rooms into public spaces and doing a large amount of landscaping in the open areas of the Quad.

"This summer is probably the most ambitious of all four summers we've been working on the Quad," Housing and Conference Services Director Douglas Berger said.

On the interior of Woodland House, construction workers will be converting student rooms into a series of house offices including a computer lab, a library, a seminar room and an exercise room.

Additionally, they will be installing elevators in Craig and handicapped lifts in Memorial Tower and Carruth.

According to current College Houses and Academic Services Director David Brownlee, these internal renovations have presented a challege due to the fact that Woodland House is in the oldest section of the Quad.

"This summer's work is the most difficult because it's in the oldest part of the building," Brownlee said. "This part was built in the 1890s and the structural systems there are more old-fashioned and difficult to work with."

In addition to the construction on the inside of the building, a number of landscaping projects are underway to revamp the green areas in the lower and middle Quad.

Not only will workers be planting a continuous row of trees along each side of the middle Quad, but they will also be converting a small courtyard near Woodland House into an outdoor room to be used for house events. Moreover, Brownlee noted that an ampitheater is being constructed in the upper Quad as well

"In the trapezoidal space a very shallow ampitheater is being created," Brownlee said. "They're building some shallow sitting steps more for just sitting and watching the sun than for theatrical events."

This final phase of renovations will compliment the previous three summers of construction in the Quad.

Since 1999, the dormitory has undergone a series of renovations totaling nearly $75 million in order to fashion it into a more communal residence.

Workers have condensed the Quad's original four houses into three college houses and created libraries, lounges and computer labs for residents to use.

Furthermore, these renovations have included installing air conditioning in students' rooms and refurbishing bathrooms and hallways.

Nevertheless, while the bulk of these endeavors will be complete by September, Brownlee said that they will be waiting until the summer of 2003 to renovate the Quad's entrances.

"Both of the entryways will be getting new security systems," Brownlee said. "The present thing that looks like Alcatraz will be removed and something that looks frankly more like coming home than going to prison will replace it."

Brownlee added that workers will also be rebuilding the fence on the southern side of the Quad.

"The fence outside is crumbling and what we've decided to do is leave that until the summer of 2003," Brownlee said. "We'll clean the masonry on the facade of the building at the same time."

By saving these remaining projects for next year, administrators are optimistic that this summer's renovations will be completed on schedule.

"Overall it is a very tight schedule and inevitably in the last few weeks we all hold a lot of hope that we will accomplish what we need to accomplish," Vice President for Facilities Services Omar Blaik said. "But we not in any way behind where we expected to be."

Brownlee added that the past three years of renovations have given administrators a sense for timing the completion of construction with the start of the school year.

"It is quite remarkable that this will be our fourth summer of working in the Quad without delaying more than a handful of students in any given year," he said.

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