Lee and Beaumont residential halls to be renovated in summer 2018

Emma Baker | News Editor

Lee and Beaumont Residential College will be renovated in summer 2018 for the incoming class of 2022, delaying its demolition date by an estimated 10-15 years.

According to Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Rob Wild, the choice to renovate the existing traditional halls instead of constructing new modern-style housing was made so that incoming students will continue to have more diverse financial options when considering their choices for housing.

“The long-term plan is to replace Lee/Beau, but the analysis and financial projections show that there was a lot of value to get out of [keeping the original buildings],” Associate Vice Chancellor and University Architect James Kolker said. “We had the potential to improve Lee and Beau…and really make them more similar to the other buildings without the investment required to replace them today.”

The heating ventilation and air conditioning systems in both residencies will be updated to central units to extend the life of the buildings, but, the most transformative aspect of the renovation, according to Kolker, will take place on the ground floors of both halls. Both buildings will have new study and lounge spaces, restrooms and kitchens. Beaumont Hall will also have a new faculty apartment to participate in the Faculty Fellow Program.

“It’s all going to happen this summer,” Kolker said. “It’s a very aggressive timeline, but we’ve done it before.”

While the number of beds is not expected to change, all residential floors will receive a “face-lift,” Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities J.D. Long said, with new carpeting and paint in rooms and new tile and fixtures in restrooms.

The exteriors of the buildings will maintain the style of their original construction but be updated to maximize all available space.

“The facade will be extended, adding a significant amount of square footage to the ground floor,” Kolker said. “The wide arches will be maintained [outside] the ground floor, but they will be all filled in with glass around the building. The brick will be retained up above, [but] the panels between the brick where there are windows and panels will be replaced with much more attractive and better performing windows.”

Kolker stressed that the most sustainable action the University can take is to renovate older buildings to make them more efficient, rather than replace them entirely.

“We have buildings on campus that are 115 years old, and they really are incredibly sustainable,” Kolker said. “I think it’s a good way to think about the value of maintaining buildings and renovating them for longer life.”