Towers renovations to continue this winter

Drue Sokol, Photo Editor

By next semester, renovations to Anderson Tower will be completed, with more renovations to both Anderson and Wilder Tower on the table for this summer as UR continues what it calls its strategic plan to improve residence halls and make the newly-constructed Jackson Court welcoming and open.

Work on the lobby of Anderson began last summer and is “basically complete,” but will be entirely finished over winter break, according to Executive Director of Campus Planning, Design and Construction Management Jose Fernandez. Two enclosed activity rooms separated by glass will be fully finished at this time. This summer, Anderson was outfitted with a lounge with a TV, and artwork in the lobby.

Similar improvements to Wilder are tentatively on the table for this summer, although the timetable has not yet been determined from a “funding perspective,” Fernandez said.

Sprinkler work begun last summer will be completed this summer, making both buildings 100 percent fire proof, he added.

UR is also exploring the possibility of a pilot project entailing renovations to one floor in one of the towers to demonstrate potential improvements that could be made to the entirety of both towers. Such improvements would include refurbishing bathrooms, upgrading the small kitchens on each floor and improving space such that the elevators open into a lounge rather than a “dark corridor,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez added that some of the motivation for the project stemmed from UR wanting the entryways to Anderson and Wilder to all open onto Jackson Court and accordingly arranged Anderson’s lobby so that it would.

“It’s always been part of our plan to create more meeting and activity space at the base of the buildings as part of our long-term strategic plan to make these spaces more community oriented,” Fernandez said.

Announcements of departments that will be moving as a result of the open spaces in Dewey Hall following the completion of the new Raymond F. LeChase Hall this January have also been made. Moves will begin next semester and are expected to be entirely completed by August.

Notably, the Department of Music will be moving to occupy a “big portion” of the first floor of Dewey Hall, according to Senior Operations Officer Paul Spaulding. The department may still use some of the classrooms in Todd Union where it is currently located, but all offices will be moving to Dewey. The Department of Theater will immediately begin using the space vacated by the Department of Music in Todd and might convert the four vacated classrooms into one open studio, Spaulding said, adding that there is no pressure for music to leave Todd, but simply their own desire.

“I think it will be helpful to them,” he said.

The basement under the Department of Music might be converted into practice rooms, he added.

Other changes include the movement of the David T. Kearns Center, the Gwen M. Greene Career Center and undergraduate research offices to the fourth floor of Dewey; The Office of Minority Student Affairs, Center for Study Abroad and Interdepartmental Programs and Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) to the second floor, along with an information desk for all offices in the building and CETL and entrepreneurial offices moving to the first floor. Spaulding said he thinks these changes will make Dewey into more of a “student center” and a “place to go.”

Buletti is a member of the class of 2013.



You can contact Leah at leah.buletti@rochester.edu.

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