By Aaron Guggenheim, Managing News Editor
Published August 15, 2013
While the layout for the public areas of the building, including the Keene Theater and the classrooms, has been simplified, the residential area has remained the same.
More like this
However, the rooms have been updated to include WiFi and controlled heating and air conditioning, while eight beds have been set aside for a gender-inclusive living arrangement.
The new layout also enhances security by creating separate public and residential spheres, equipping all the entrances with cameras and outfitting doors to different areas with Mcard scanners to accommodate for the variety of people who need access to the building.
Heightened security and student safety were also a high priority when planning the renovation.
Of late, students living in the University Housing System have been subject to a variety of crimes ranging from theft to a sexual assault at West Quadrangle Residence Hall last January.
“We had to gear the security levels, what is open and what is behind doors based on that,” Wright said. “It was a bit of a challenge but it all worked out.”
But Logan said the greatest security threat generally comes when students hold doors open for people who they do not know.
“The best of electronic security systems falls by the wayside when a student, politely, opens the door for anybody,” Logan said.
As for the dining, East Quad now has a café meant to serve as a complement to the main dining hall, which can serve 340 students at once.
The new dining hall continues the focus on increasing the purchase of local foods, which now constitute 16 percent of the $8.6 million budget spent on food, and features micro restaurants, including a vegan option, that will plate items, which is similar to dining at North Quadrangle Residence Hall.
These efforts are intended to reduce food waste and will be accompanied by a gradual transition to trayless dining throughout the University dining system.
Head Chef Buzz Cummings, who has worked at East Quad for seven years, said he was excited to have an updated kitchen. He has spent most of the last three weeks training new staff and student workers and testing dishes.
“It was like, I woke up and every morning was Christmas morning and there are plenty of chef toys under the Christmas tree and everyday we played with a different one,” Cummings said.
With the renovation of East Quad now complete, the University will continue the renovation of South Quadrangle Residence Hall before completing its years-long project to update its student living arrangements with the renovation of West Quad.