Dartmouth Plans Design For New Institute; Dorm Repairs After Fire Could Cost $6 Million

Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, January 27, 2017

Hanover — Dartmouth College’s Board of Trustees recently approved “schematic design funding” for a $73 million building at the end of the Tuck Mall that would house the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Design, according to a new filing by the college.

The new structure would account for about 45 percent of the $160 million that the college plans to raise from donors and spend on the institute, which was launched with an $80 million lead gift announced in September from the Canada-based energy firm Irving Oil, the Arthur L. Irving Family Foundation, and members of the Irving family.

The college also said it might have to spend about $6 million to restore Morton Hall, a 67-bed dormitory that was damaged by an Oct. 1 fire.

State fire investigators said the fire began after a grill was left unattended  on the dorm’s roof, and two students later said they were expelled for their role in the incident.

Dartmouth also estimated it will cost $12.8 million to build professors’ residences and temporary centers for Dartmouth’s Undergraduate House Communities program.

The latter estimate includes $300,000 included in the college’s fiscal 2014 capital budget for planning and study and $750,000 in November for additional planning and construction preparation, college spokeswoman Diana Lawrence said.

The filing, which was posted on Monday in a database maintained by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, a government agency that regulates public-sector bond issuers, included updates and tidbits of information on various high-profile events and projects in Hanover.

Dartmouth “shared these numbers as part of a process of thoughtful, preliminary planning,” Lawrence said. “They are estimates only, which is why they are not part of formal announcements, and the projects, funding sources and costs may change.”

Among the college’s preliminary thoughts are an expectation that it “may take up to nine months” for a Grafton Superior Court Judge to rule on the college’s appeal of the Hanover Planning Board’s decision not to issue a permit for the $24 million indoor athletic practice facility the college wants to build off South Park Street.

Meanwhile, the college is studying how to cut its use of fuel oil and generate more electricity with solar power, and also analyzing the potential impact of borrowing and spending more than $100 million to convert the college’s “aging steam distribution system and steam heated buildings to more efficient hot water heating and distribution systems.”

The filing also revealed that Dartmouth’s highest-paid executive, Chief Investment Officer Pamela Peedin, has moved up the date for her departure to March 31.

In November, Peedin had announced her intention to leave at the end of June, at the conclusion of the fiscal year for the college.

Lawrence, the college spokeswoman, did not respond to a question about the reason for Peedin’s new exit date. Lawrence said that Peedin would end full-time work on March 31 and that college officials were “confident that a new CIO will be in place by July 1.”

Peedin, who leads 13 investment managers and administrators in the Boston office that oversees the college’s $5.7 billion portfolio of financial assets, which includes its $4.5 billion endowment, “will provide consulting services through June 30,” the filing said.

The filing noted that the college is conducting nationwide searches for replacements for Peedin and two other executives: General Counsel Robert Donin and Dean of the Faculty Michael Mastanduno.

The searches are “underway and in various stages of progression,” Lawrence said.

In 2014, the latest year for which the college has publicly disclosed a tax return that lists its highest-paid employees, Peedin’s $1.2 million compensation package topped the $1.1 million of President Philip Hanlon.

Donin’s pay package totaled $510,000, while Mastanduno’s was $431,000.

The new filing estimated that the college will receive about 20,000 applications for places in its next freshman class, down from 23,100 received five years ago and from the five-year average of 21,200.

It also notes the June 30 expiration date for the college’s collective bargaining agreement with Service Employees International Union Local 560, which represents 440 trade, maintenance, custodial and food service workers. That’s about 10 percent of the college’s full- and part-time work force of faculty and staff.

Rick Jurgens can be reached at 603-727-3229 or rjurgens@vnews.com.