By Danielle Stoppelmann, Daily Staff Reporter
Published April 16, 2012
After about a year of construction and planning that included student input, Alice Lloyd Residence Hall will be completed by mid-August as students prepare to move in to the newly renovated building in the fall.
Robert Yurk, director of housing planning and design, said the planning team for the residence hall renovations held student focus groups and issued online surveys to figure out the most desirable improvements they could make to the building.
“We love getting that feedback and that input,” Yurk said. “So hopefully, we can address those concerns and the needs and the desires.”
Spaces on the first and second floors have been completely renovated to allow for a more open layout and easy navigation, according to Yurk. Additionally, student rooms have received mechanical and electrical upgrades, such as new lighting and flooring features, updated fire suppression systems and air conditioning.
Yurk said that during the renovation process, the team was able to create more student rooms in the form of suites, some of which contain two floors. Yurk said he hopes the suites will be “fun and popular,” adding that they will be available through the normal housing assignment process.
The basement of Alice Lloyd, which will be the largest community room within the residence hall, has was also renovated to make the space more welcoming for student use.
Other common areas include a laundry room, music practice rooms, study rooms, classrooms and student lounges.
University Housing spokesman Peter Logan noted that students from nearby residence halls, including as Couzens Residence Hall and Mosher-Jordan Residence Hall, will have easier access to Alice Lloyd through a new entrance from Palmer Field.
“By promoting more of the entrance to the building on the Palmer Field side, it builds on that whole neighborhood experience that we’ve been working into the Residential Life Initiatives,” Logan said. “It’s not about a series of very distinct and isolated buildings, but creating more of a flow among residence halls that share a neighborhood.”
Logan said 520 students will live in Alice Lloyd next year, 175 of which will be a part of the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program, which is a living and learning community for students interested in literature and the arts.
Yurk said the design team tried to use environmentally-friendly products when possible, as it has done with other recently renovated residence halls such as Couzens. He said the building also has motion-sensor lighting throughout the corridors, lounges, bathrooms and other common areas.
The design team also installed low water-flow appliances and an energy recovery unit, which harvests hot and cold air from showers and bathrooms to limit the residents’ water consumption. Insulation on the exterior walls has also been added to further improve energy conservation.
Yurk said University Housing is looking forward to seeing student reactions to the renovated space.
“Every time we finish a project, we’re excited,” Yurk said. “We hope that we addressed the concerns that we heard in the focus groups and the surveys … (and that) the students find (the changes) exciting, beneficial, useful, both from a serious point of view of studying, but also from a leisure point of view.”
Last night, the Housing Design and Planning team hosted an event to thank students who live in Mosher-Jordan and Couzens for tolerating the inconvenience posed by the construction in Alice Lloyd. Students had the opportunity to ask design team members questions about the changes.
LSA freshman Andrew Loeb, a member of LHSP who lives in Couzens, said there were only a few instances in which the construction directly affected him, noting that sometimes loud noises woke him up when he tried to sleep in and occasionally dust from the work blew into his window.
Loeb will live in Alice Lloyd next year as part of LHSP, and said though Couzens has been a great home for the program, he is excited about moving into the new Alice Lloyd.
“I’m really looking forward to what it looks like,” Loeb said. “I was really happy to find out that we would be going back there next year.”
Art & Design freshman Grace Ludmer said the construction is being done right outside of her window but the negative effects are minor.
“It was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be,” Ludmer said. “It wasn’t noisy; it never woke me up, but it definitely was an eyesore, and it made it inconvenient to walk to Mo-Jo, but nothing awful.”
East Quad Residence Hall will be the next residence hall to receive major renovations, Logan said. Designers plan to improve the first floor and ensure that student living corridors are private and separated from Residential College facilities.
“Now we have been able to properly separate (the Residential College) but keep the community spaces contiguous and open to the Residential College,” Logan said.
Logan added that designers have been planning to revamp the residence hall’s mechanical aspects and infrastructure. There will be also be new wireless Internet, plumbing, electrical, heating, cooling and fire suppression systems.
Upon completion, Logan said East Quad will be the final upgrade to the University’s residential fire suppression systems. He also said East Quad will contain similar sustainability features to Alice Lloyd.
Yurk added that the complete renovation planned for the dining facility at East Quad will most likely have the biggest impact on students who live and work in East Quad. Currently, there are two separate dining halls, but after renovations, they will be integrated, with new additions to variety of foods offered, including a vegetarian and vegan station.
Logan said renovations to residence halls preserve existing character while updating the buildings to meet students’ needs.
“It’s a way of bringing a new life to our Heritage Halls and respecting the traditional designs and architectural uniqueness of those buildings,” Logan said. “There is always some new dynamic to this renovation. It’s not simply restoration — that wouldn’t serve the purposes of contemporary and future students.”
Logan added that the housing team is aware that there are more buildings that have yet to be upgraded to keep up with students’ needs, but said plans aren’t official regarding the next project.
“I know it won’t end with East Quad,” he said. “But where it goes after East Quad is yet to be decided.”
Yurk added that Baits II Residence Halls will also receive additions and updates. The halls will be renovated with improved community learning centers, a new fire suppression system, additional music and media rooms and updated lounge facilities, house kitchens and furniture.