Work continues on new dorms

The week before school started, athletes and community advisors who had moved back to campus were awakened daily to the sound of construction workers hard at work beginning at 6 a.m. and going well into the evening.On Saturday night before Monday classes began, the students began moving into the campus’ new South and North halls.

And on Monday morning at seven, the construction workers were at it again, waking up some of the residents.

“[The construction] is annoying; it wakes us up,” Mollie McKenzie said.

Two of the three new dorms were ready for the start of fall semester although students who arrived early for community advisor training or sports had to wait until Saturday to move in.

And while the living parts of the halls are mostly finished and the main systems are installed, there is still much work to be done and lots of dust flying around.

“I felt the inconvenience of traveling to Rutland outweighed coming home to construction,” Dennis Proulx, the director of residence life, said referring to the need to house students in motel rooms when Castleton Hall was built.

In the South and North halls, completion of the lounges in the basements were delayed, but the “bedrooms and bathrooms were reasonably ready to go,” Proulx said.

The Center Hall is not yet ready to live in because the floor has not been installed and the walls need to be painted. If everything goes as planned, the Center Hall will be open by October, Proulx said. When Center Hall opens, it will be occupied by first year students who are living in temporary rooms across campus.

Currently, outdoor lighting at the new dorms is dim, leaving them bathed in darkness with no accessibility to an emergency call button, and construction material is scattered in front of the buildings. The blue emergency pole has been ordered and should be installed within the next couple of weeks, Dean of Administration William Allen said.

“I don’t know that those blue buttons have been used in an emergency,” Allen said. “I feel pretty comfortable that people are safe.”

Although the buildings have yet to be finished, students’ interests are piqued. Several decided to visit the new buildings, some with envy for the newness, others just for a taste of something new.

“I am planning to go,” Kali Gayne said. “I’m really curious just to see what they are like.”

Each building contains a classroom, a basement lounge, a laundry room and eight suites, called pods. Each pod contains a sink and three rooms for a total of 48 residents per building.

“It’s a lot neater; I can take a shower barefoot if I wanted to,” said Mckenzie, a former Babcock Hall resident.

While students appreciate the new building and furniture, the pods are isolated. There is a door separating the two pods on the left from the two on the right, as well as a door to every pod, creating a maze on each floor.

“It’s strangely very, very quiet,” student Ray Boule said. “I’d like to see more interaction, but I think it’s natural for people to stay in their pods.”

The classrooms need furniture, but classes will be held in the new halls starting next semester, though which classes will be held there hasn’t been determined.

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