The University Board of Regents approved a $39.6 million renovation plan for Stockwell Residence Hall yesterday. The renovations are slated to begin at the end of the 2008 academic year and be finished by August of 2009.

Stockwell, named for the first woman admitted to the University in 1870, houses only females. University Housing spokesman Alan Levy wouldn’t say whether the dorm will remain that way after the renovations.

“We are taking the opportunity as Mosher-Jordan and Stockwell undergo major renovation and North Quad – U-M’s first new residence hall since 1968 – is constructed to carefully review and assess all of our current residential configurations and demographics,” Levy said in an e-mail interview.

He said officials probably won’t make a decision for at least a year.

A community learning center will replace Stockwell’s dining hall. Students will be able to eat in the Hill Dining Center, which will be connected to Mosher-Jordan Hall when it reopens in Fall 2008.

Stockwell’s renovations will also include work on the building’s plumbing and electrical systems. Air conditioning, updated fire alarms and fire sprinklers will also be installed. The building will also have wireless Internet in common areas and faster Internet access in the dorm rooms.

Housing officials said the residence hall will hold about 415 students after the renovations, about the same number it does now.

The bathrooms will also be redesigned.

“The infrastructure has probably exceeded its lifespan,” Levy said.

The final schematic designs for the renovation will go in front of the regents in early 2008, said Kathy Comisiak, a housing capital planner for University Housing. Parts of the dining hall will probably become an informal performance space, music practice room, a lounge, and a laundry room, she said.

The building’s historic exterior will remain mostly the same, Comisiak said. Goody Clancy & Associates, the same firm that is managing the renovation of Mosher-Jordan Hall, will design the Stockwell renovations.

Comisiak said focus groups University Housing conducted with students indicated a demand for the features of the new Hill Dining Center, like increased variety and longer hours.

“You can offer those in a dining center venue a little better than individual halls,” Comisiak said.

The design team is considering putting kitchenettes on each floor of Stockwell and a larger kitchen elsewhere in the building, Comisiak said.

LSA freshman Sarah Yi, who lives in Stockwell, said she thinks the dorm needs updating. She said the paint in her room is chipping and the screen on her window won’t stay on. Yi also recommended completely rebuilding the bathrooms.

“A bigger study area would be good,” she said.

LSA freshman Husnah Khan, who also lives in Stockwell, said she doesn’t think Stockwell needs to be renovated. She said the noise from the Mosher-Jordan renovations has bothered her this semester.

College of Engineering sophomore Mary Kay DuBay, who has lived in Stockwell for the past two years and plans to live there again next year as a resident advisor, said it would be inconvenient to have to walk next door for meals.

“Students want this food service that looks like a cafeteria in a shopping center or something,” said DuBay, who serves as a student coordinator in the Stockwell dining hall. “It’s impressive, but really it’s kind of inconvenient.”

Levy said students won’t care about the short walk once they see what the Hill Dining Center has to offer.

“We think the contrast between the old and the new will take care for most students of any concern about a short walk,” said Levy.

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