With each passing week, the buildings currently under construction on North Campus take shape.
The North Campus Residential Initiative is entering its 11th month, continuing on schedule and on budget. Once the Class of 2005 arrives, freshmen can look forward to a first-year experience complete with three recreational fields, two new residence halls, athletic facilities, tennis and basketball courts, a new community center with a dinning hall and fireplace lounge and air conditioning in all buildings.
“I can’t wait until move-in day in August,” said Jean Reese, project leader for the program aspect of the residential initiative.
“I’m going to be so excited to see students move into their residence halls. I think together we have made a really fine environment for our first year students,” Reese said.
Just less than a year ago, golden shovels tore into the North Campus earth, and the metamorphosis of the former Helen Newman fields is now almost complete. The ideas behind Court and Mews Halls and the student center called Community Commons have made the final transition from a mere administrative dream to a North Campus reality.
“I look at all the construction and these new massive buildings, and I am amazed. Not even a year ago we played ball there, and next fall, students will be living there,” said Daniel Tischler ’03.
The overall project completion date is set for mid-July, although Reese noted that some sections will be completed prior to that date.
The recreation fields have been seeded and were finished last September, but they will not be ready for use until the fall. Later this summer, certain site work will continue, including sidewalks and simple landscape architecture consisting of tree and grass planting.
Currently most of the work being done is happening inside the buildings. Also, windows have been kept shut for the duration of the winter, quieting some earlier student complaints of excessive construction noise.
According to Reese, the building exteriors of Llenroc stone and brick are nearly complete.
“The windows have been installed and student rooms and corridors in Court Hall have been painted. The public spaces have received their first coats of paint as well, [and] bathrooms have also been tiled,” she said.
The dormitory hallways are split up into wings, each of which consists of 30 students. Recessed alcoves for lounging break up the long hallway appearance which often plagues institutionalized living quarters.
“It’s not your typical straight corridor you’d see in a dorm,” Reese said.
“It’s less institutional, more warm, and more residential,” she added.
Wedge-shaped study lounges can be found at the end of each wing, complete with a full ceiling-to-floor window with views of North Campus.
Community Corners — the student community center for the new residential village — will have a 624-seat dining facility, a snack bar named Ezra’s, a mail room, a fireplace lounge, a fitness center, three private dining rooms which seat 25 people per room and a large multipurpose space “used for a myriad of things from dances to presentations, to physical education classes and even banquets,” according to Reese.
The $65 million Initiative budget goes beyond just Court, Mews, and Community Corners, stretching its monetary grasp to enhance Donlon Hall, Low Rise 7, Dickson Hall and the entire North Campus community.
Of the new student living area, Reese promised that “it’s architecturally handsome and inside, [it is] functional and cozy.”
Archived article by Julia Macdonald