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Student Houses Sport a New Look

Whether they realized it or not, when several hundred students moved in to campus houses in late August, they entered buildings that look much different, in some cases, than they did before students left for the summer. Ten campus residences received renovations and upgrades, including new furniture, paint, carpet and draperies.

Here are descriptions, provided by Physical Plant, of house renovations completed recently.

Haven House renovation and suites addition (completed summer 2007)

Haven House, built in 1896, houses 54 students and has just under 22,000 square feet of area. The kitchen was updated a few years ago, but has since been closed as part of the dining consolidation. 

Haven House received a thorough interior and exterior renovation. Space was reconfigured to provide new suite style housing for 14 of its residents. There are now a total of four suites, each containing one single bedroom, one double bedroom, a living area and private bath facilities. There is an additional suite with two singles. Following its renovation, Haven houses its students with a mix of singles, doubles, and suites.

The $5 million renovation of Haven House, also included refinishing of floors, turning the unused dining room with fireplace into a living room (complete with a gas log in the fireplace), and turning a little-used room at the rear of the house into a glassed-in four-season porch. The main entrance of Have House was moved from the north side of the building to the east side, facing Campus Center.

Several House projects (completed summer 2007)

Baldwin, Chase, Cushing, Emerson, Jordan, Wilson and Talbot houses have received new vinyl wall covering, painting of woodwork and doors, wood floor refinishing, new corridor carpeting, corridor and student room lighting upgrades, bathroom finishes, new furnishings and new draperies. A total of 564 students—or about a quarter of Smith’s undergraduate population—in these houses returned to newly refurbished student rooms and corridors. Talbot House also received new common space finishes and furnishings, and new bathrooms. Wilson House received new common space finishes. Some smaller projects in these houses are scheduled over winter recess.

Chapin Dining upgrades (completed summer 2007)

Due to its convenient location, Chapin House Dining has become the lunch location for students who take advantage of the Grab ’n’ Go lunches served daily. More than 700 bag lunches are distributed to students Monday through Friday from Chapin Dining Room. The Chapin Dining room and kitchen were originally design to handle only the occupants of Chapin House for a sit-down type meal, therefore renovations were necessary in the dining room. The renovation included a new entrance to the dining room to improve access and circulation, and to protect the house space for Chapin residents. Also, an an area was added to the kitchen to provide additional food storage and walk-in cooler space.

Baldwin House exterior (completed September 2007)

Due to time restraints portions of the 2006 Baldwin renovations were deferred until 2007. Work included rebuilding of selected brick parapet walls that were showing structural deficiencies, structural repairs to the ornate front entry porch and the addition of a new roof over the handicapped entry. In addition new energy efficient windows were installed to replace the existing units.

9/13/07   Photos by Roberge
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