This summer the Towers Residence Halls will undergo the first of a series of renovations that aim to improve the quality of life for the residents of Wilder and Anderson Towers. The Towers complex is scheduled for an estimated $16-$18 million in renovations over the next four to six years according to Director of Residential Life Logan Hazen. The residence halls were originally constructed in the 1960s. “We’re in the conceptual drawing phase,” Hazen said. While the complete plans for renovations have not been finalized, a series of smaller utilitarian renovations will occur during this summer. The electrical, fire alarm emergency lighting and emergency power systems along with the four elevators will all undergo upgrades. The university has all ready approved $2 million for these renovations. “The electrical system will be the main part,” Hazen said. The entire electrical system, from outlet to generator, that is currently in Towers will be removed and completely replaced with a new system that will deliver more power to the students. “There’s less power than we would like for students,” Hazen said. Electricians, working double shifts, will ensure that the electrical system is completed on schedule. The emergency generator, fire alarm systems and emergency lighting systems will also be replaced. The fire alarms will be replaced with new smoke detectors that are more advanced and will aid in the more accurate detection of fires. The sprinkler system will also be replaced to provide more water in case of an emergency. The elevators are also scheduled to undergo changes this summer. Every part of the elevators, from the cabling, to the lift wires, to the control panels and interior walls, will be upgraded. While the majority of this summer’s renovations will be utilitarian, major cosmetic changes to the building will take place in the next few years. Hazen discussed possible ideas for changes to the floors. “Convert the double room to a single and use the extra space to create a second bathroom with a toilet and sink. That has to be a big improvement,” Hazen said. Currently there is only one bathroom per suite. There is also the possibility of putting laundry facilities on each floor. In addition, replacing the current metal door with solid oak and making the building more handicapped-accessible are ideas for the future. “We can’t lose a lot of space, though,” Hazen said. He cautioning that the renovations will still have to provide housing to about the same number of students. Not all of those who live in the Towers residence halls were aware of the planned changes. “Oh, that’s what that little guy with a shovel was doing?” senior Kara Rozansky said.And one felt that the university’s resources could be better spent. “I feel like it is simply not necessary,” sophomore Yoni Jochnowitz-Kahn said. “The heating in Towers is fine. The building seems okay for the most part.” As for fears that the renovations will not be completed before the start of the 2004 fall semester, Hazen said that there is no need to worry. “We are extremely sensitive to ensuring projects do not interfere with opening and occupancy, and never want to have to tell students and families, buildings can’t open on time,” Hazen said. The construction bidding process includes time schedules guaranteeing that the projects will be completed on time so that Towers is ready as planned. “We would not accept a bid nor initiate such a large project without that assurance. We will ride contractors heavily to insure schedules are met on such large projects,” Hazen said. Dean of The College William Green agreed with Hazen. “We’ll do [the renovations] as quick as time and money will allow,” he said. Work on the project is scheduled to begin two days after commencement. Some small projects that do not affect student life may begin as early as April. “To speed things up we may authorize some of the non-intrusive, non-disruptive work like the emergency generator placement/ installation, but not connection, in advance of the formal start of construction,” Hazen said. But he emphasized the work would not disturb student life much.Additional reporting by Masha Chepovetsky.Pisarski can be reached at

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