Cost efficient renovations planned on campus


The Fischer/Wellers project, which was completed this summer, is just the beginning of a master plan to renovate all residence halls and add four new student-housing facilities on campus. The master plan continues until 2031.

The plan also includes tearing down the Wells towers. Bartlett said eliminating the towers would be easier and more cost efficient than renovating them.

“A big component of the renovation is energy efficiency as well as accessibility,” Residence Life Director Frank Bartlett said.

According to Bartlett, universities across the state are upgrading their buildings for both appearance and efficiency.

“Because of our commitment to students with disabilities, our [upgrade] is a little more extensive than other campuses, and we take great pride in that,” Bartlett said. “We want to have the nicest residence halls in the state and still be reasonably priced.”

Wellers Hall has been closed down for remodeling during the 2012-2013 school year. Bartlett said the cost of Wellers Hall will not change when it reopens next fall.

To make up for the lack of space while Wellers Hall is being renovated, Residence Life has rented 450 bed spaces in Cambridge and Fox Meadows apartments.

Mary Kaster, Residence Life project manager, said she hopes they won’t need off-campus housing for the long term.

“There might be a possibility that we’ll have [off-campus housing] for the next six years,” Kaster said. “It’s all in flux, but it will be in short term that we’ll have off-campus housing.”

Residence Life is planning to build and open a new residence hall by fall of 2015, which should eliminate the need for off-campus housing. Kaster said the need for the Cambridge and Fox Meadows apartments will depend on how many rooms they can build in the new dorm, enrollment and the number of students living on campus.

“It’s an exciting time in Residence Life, and we’re going through a lot of transitions, and clearly those transitions aren’t going to end anytime soon,” Bartlett said. “We’re just trying to keep up with what the campus is doing and be as attractive and as reasonably priced as we possibly can be.”