Ellicott Hall renovations, including air conditioning and larger study spaces, will be delayed due to the construction of two new dorms on the Varsity Practice Fields.
The dorm was supposed to undergo renovations in 2018, but that has been pushed to 2020, and possibly later, said Brian Snyder, the Department of Residential Facilities’ associate director for projects.
The two new dorms will add 902 beds and should help accommodate students when Ellicott Hall gets renovated in the future, Snyder said.
Snyder said the department expects the construction of the new dorms to start by fall 2018 and and by completed by summer 2020. At that point, Ellicott Hall would be up next for renovation, according to the ongoing On-Campus Student Housing Strategic Plan.
“We’re currently still reevaluating the whole timeline, but ideally, it would be right after the Varsity Practice Field,” Snyder said. “We’ll know around June next year if Ellicott is approved to proceed, and then there will be a long design time, and then construction time.”
Ellicott Hall is one of the last few dorms without air conditioning, said Andrew Van Der Stuyf, the Department of Residential Facilities’ assistant director of building projects. According the department’s website, eight dorms do not have air conditioning.
Aside from the new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, students in Ellicott Hall can expect expanded study spaces and refurbished bathrooms — renovations that already occurred in some other dorms, such as Cambridge Hall, Van Der Stuyf said.
The shift in the housing plan will not impact renovations on Dorchester Hall that will begin this winter, said Tracy Kiras, the Department of Resident Life’s assistant director for communications and marketing. The dorm will reopen for fall 2018.
Students living in Dorchester Hall during the fall semester were alerted their dorm would be closing in the spring prior to signing their housing contracts, Kiras said.
“Often we get requests from students to petition for a release from their housing contract,” Kiras said. “So, I think we have a solid contingent of students living at Dorchester Hall because they’ll be studying abroad or living in Greek life housing come spring.”
With only 141 beds, Dorchester Hall’s semester-long closure will have less of an impact than the closure of a high-rise dorm, which can have more than 500 beds, said William Olen, director of capital projects for Facilities Management.
Olen added that Dorchester has been in need of renovations for a long time. The building will undergo a total renovation, including new windows, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, study areas and lounges.
“It’s just a building that hasn’t been renovated in many years,” Olen said. “I don’t know when the last time it was renovated, but it has been more than 20 years.”
The Dorchester Hall project will cost approximately $10.3 million, and is being funded by the university, Olen said.