Quadrangle Renovations: Reconfiguring the College Houses

Work begins this summer on renovations in the Quad, where--after the work is completed in three or four years--the four present College Houses will be reconfigured into three. The Quad project, unveiled in town meeting style last month, is part of a ten-year, $300 million Housing and Dining Renewal project that begins this summer.

The Housing and Dining Renewal Project is coordinated by a Capital Projects Steering Committee, chaired by Associate Vice President for Campus Services, Dr. Larry Moneta. Subcommittees for each individual College House will be formed as the project advances and will include student, faculty and staff members. All recommendations are subject to approval by the President, the Provost, the Executive Vice President, and the Trustees of the University.

Reorganizing the Quad houses into three is at the top of the list of the Committee recommendations, which are posted to a website along with the names of its members. The three given so far are:

1. Adjust the configuration of the Quad to create stronger, more individualized College Houses centered on the Quad's three principal courtyards. Implement the three-House plan only after completion of renewal work (estimated to take 3 to 4 years). Reallocate existing staffing to three Houses, each with one Faculty Master, two Faculty Fellows, and one House Dean.

2. Establish consultative committees of students, faculty and staff for each House to oversee the renewal project. The Quadrangle College Houses Program Committee to continue to receive advice from the University community.

3. Maintain a high level of support and services for residents of the Quad and its four College Houses throughout the period of transition.

The Quad starts with Phase I of a four-year project, with Ewing Cole Cherry Brott as the architectural firm. On the list of improvements in view:

  • install air conditioning and elevators
  • expand public meeting space
  • install improved and visibly recognizable landscaping that optimizes courtyards and delineates Houses
  • replace most plumbing and all bathroom fixtures; reconfigure bathrooms for greater privacy
  • transform trash removal system
  • build distinctive lobbies and establish outside entrances for each House
  • correct the current poor drainage that results in flooding of courtyards
  • improve exterior lighting
  • establish a new suite of offices for each House
  • replace external wooden doors, possibly creating distinctive exterior doors for each House
  • install a single, unified electrical system
  • complete the necessary infrastructure and exterior repairs: walls and foundations
  • bring the facility into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act

At present (above), Goldberg and Ware face on the Upper Quad while Spruce and Community House share portions of the Lower Quad and the "little" quads at its east end. In the new design (below) each House encompasses a Quad of its own. A third entrance, on the south side, is also proposed.

Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 23, March 2, 1999