- Paul Sherman/Daily
By Taylor Wizner, Daily Staff Reporter
Published November 20, 2011
After spending the last 44 years in East Quad Residence Hall, the Residential College will have a new home next year.
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The Residential College, currently located in East Quad Residence Hall, will temporarily move to West Quad Residence Hall next fall while East Quad undergoes a year of major renovations, according to University Housing spokesman Peter Logan. The Michigan Community Scholars Program, also currently housed in East Quad, will be re-located to West Quad.
While West Quad offers the same residential accommodations as East Quad, it does not have the classrooms and offices needed by the RC, according to RC Director Angela Dillard. To remedy the lack of classrooms, the RC is looking into reserving classrooms in the Dennison Building. This will cover most of the community’s needs, but it will also use some spaces on North Campus and in Alice Lloyd Residence Hall, the Burton Tower and the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
The dispersal of classes across campus will be a big change to the RC’s structure. Dillard wrote in an e-mail interview that the RC does not anticipate the relocation having a negative effect on its admissions for next year.
“Nothing in our basic educational mission or approach will change,” Dillard wrote. “In fact, we can see ways that the move will heighten the appeal of the RC as an intentional community since leaving the East Quad has forced us to think more actively and creatively about what our community is and how best to keep it strong and engaged.”
The $116 million East Quad renovation is expected to be finished in summer 2013. The improvements will be “top-to-bottom,” Dillard wrote.
“It’s … one that preserves the traditional feel of the old East Quad while making much needed improvements in terms of both structure and design,” she wrote.
East Quad renovations will include new fire detection and suppression systems, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems, upgraded restrooms and student rooms, an improved dining hall, better Internet access and accessibility modifications, according to Logan.
The goals for the East Quad renovation are consistent with the Residential Life Initiatives launched by University President Mary Sue Coleman in 2004, Logan wrote in an e-mail interview.
“With the renovation, University Housing will be able to provide an environment that truly serves the living-learning connection so visible and dynamic for the past many years,” Logan wrote.
The renovations will add new sustainability features in East Quad, according to Logan. Some water conservation improvements include dual-flush toilets, as well as flow-reduction sink faucets and showerheads. Student rooms will be equipped with dual temperature systems with individual thermostat control, and zone heating and cooling will manage energy use in different parts of the building.
Dillard wrote that though leaving East Quad may be difficult for students who like the familiarity and closeness of the building, the move will help facilitate student bonding.
“Taking the RC out of that comfort zone and making it more dispersed in terms of space means that we all have to be much more thoughtful, reflective and intentional,” Dillard wrote. “Working hard at something like community building can make it all the more meaningful.”
LSA freshman Christiana Allen-Pipkin, who is in the Residential College, said she is looking forward to living in West Quad, but will miss the advantages of East Quad.
“While I’m excited about the changes — because East Quad really needs to be renovated — it’s also going to be different not having class here,” Allen said.