When construction workers began the renovations of Kilgo Quadrangle this summer, they found evidence of just how truly antiquated the dorm was: Old cans, bottles and newspapers dating back to the 1920s when the school was built laid dormant in the walls.
But no longer.
Kilgo--the first quad to undergo renovations in the plan to modernize Main West Campus' residence halls--will be retooled with air conditioning, carpeting, solid ceilings, renovated bathrooms and reconfigured commons rooms.
"It's a pretty unbelievable scene--running air conditioning into an 80-year-old building," said Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs.
The half of Kilgo that was renovated set the pace for future West Campus changes, with the project just two days behind schedule for its finishing date in August. The rest of the campus will likely receive a similar makeover in the next six years. The rest of Kilgo will be completed next summer.
Administrators now know that they can complete the renovations solely within the summer and that the older dorms can indeed be air conditioned. Moneta added that the process will take longer than originally predicted, will be expensive and that, as renovations occur, administrators will try to make quads more accessible horizontally, not just vertically with staircases. The renovations are budgeted for $17 million.
Brownstone, a selective living group, will occupy the renovated space, where Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and part of Maxwell House used to be, under the new residential plan. Brownstone member and senior Dave Bernstein said that while he doubts the renovations will affect the group's rush significantly, some amenities, like air conditioning, may help Brownstone1s recruitment.
"The move screwed over a lot of groups, but we got a pretty good deal," Bernstein said.
Besides air conditioning, one of the most noticeable differences will be smaller bathrooms. Each original bathroom was split into a male and a female bathroom, each serving 10 to 12 students.
The renovated quad also will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as there will be a ramp leading to the front door, a small lift and three rooms for students with disabilities that include personal bathrooms.
Each room's ceiling, carpet, lights and in many cases, closets, were replaced.
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"We could not expand the hallways, but we created wide spaces where possible through alcoves where we needed to take out space, to create the idea of openness like on East," said Judith White, director of the Residential Program Review.
The first of the quad's three commons rooms has been expanded and tailored with hard wood trimmings. Green tiles -- each quad will have its own specific color -- will line the interior wall facing the front door entrance, to add a more aesthetic greeting.