Rodin College House suites will receive new couches and armchairs over the next few weeks, with Harnwell and Harrison College Houses to follow suit over the summer.
According to a Feb. 15 email sent to Rodin residents, the first phase of new furniture deliveries occurred from Feb. 21 to Feb. 24 for floors 13 through 24. The second phase of deliveries for the rest of the building will occur in early March.
Paul Forchielli, the senior associate director for building operations at Penn Residential Services, told The Daily Pennsylvanian that furniture is replaced about once every seven years, depending on budgets and the quality of the furniture.
“We looked at three different vendors,” Forchielli said. “We ended up getting a bunch of samples in … to have a look at. [Based] off of what we saw in terms of quality, and then also the aesthetics of how they're looking, we made a decision to go with a vendor that's different than what we have currently on campus.”
The email sent to Rodin residents added that furniture may need to be staged in the hallways as part of the delivery process.
Director of Communications and External Relations Barbara Lea-Kruger added that the new furniture uses a new material that is a vinyl fabric and has a cloth feel. The current couches are made of a leather-like vinyl material that is prone to cracking and peeling.
“I definitely don’t like it as much,” Engineering sophomore Spencer Ware, who lives on the 15th floor of Rodin, said. “I think it doesn't feel as good as the fake leather. It’s a lot stiffer, and that may just be because it's new …But it's just less comfortable to sit on for that reason.”
Ware added that, while the replacement armchair is the same size as before, the new couch is smaller — which could be inconvenient when having people sleep over.
“There were some couches [in the hallway] that were the same size as the old leather ones, and some that were smaller, and we happened to get one to the smaller ones,” Ware said. “Sometimes we would have people sleep over on the on the old leather couch. You can't really have somebody sleep over on a couch that's two-thirds of the size. So that's pretty annoying.”
However, Ware said that the new couches' durability may be a beneficial trade off.
“It does seem like these probably won't fall apart anytime soon,” Ware said. “It feels like right now the padding is way too stiff. But that might actually be a good thing, meaning that it lasts for a long time before just becoming like mush."
Forchielli said that Harnwell and Harrison will receive the same new furniture over the summer, as it would be difficult to receive all of the necessary furniture in time if the replacements were to be done during the semester. The eventual goal is to replace all of the in-room soft seating across campus residences.
“If this works out pretty well… we’re also going to look at [Mayer, Gregory, and Du Bois] in terms of putting this couch in those,” Forchielli added.