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Dartmouth Seeks Housing Input

Published: 8/13/2018 11:13:58 PM
Modified: 8/13/2018 11:14:34 PM

Hanover — Dartmouth College will host three “informational sessions” in the next week to get feedback from the college community and the public about sites under consideration for a new 350-bed dormitory for undergraduates.

“Building a residence hall on Dartmouth’s campus is a complicated undertaking with a multitude of factors that must be considered,” Executive Vice President Rick Mills, who is hosting the sessions, said in a statement on the Dartmouth website. “We look forward to gathering input from the College community.” 

The college has not said publicly what sites are being considered, but spokeswoman Diana Lawrence on Monday said they are all on campus and will be announced at the meetings.

In an April 3 message to the college community, Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon said the school is “exploring sites on which to build additional residence halls to ease the strain on student housing and provide the swing space necessary to renovate aging dormitories.”

The college in February abandoned a proposal to build a 750-bed facility in College Park, a 35-acre wooded parcel east of the Dartmouth Green, but did not rule out the location for a smaller dorm.

Dartmouth has almost 3,100 beds in undergraduate dorms, which have “been at capacity for several years,” the college said.

That heavy demand has left Dartmouth without the so-called “swing space” to house students temporarily while the college closes an existing residence hall for more extensive renovations and maintenance that can take a year or more to complete.

A new 350-bed dorm “would provide the necessary swing space to allow older buildings to be renovated or taken down,” the college said, and the new residence hall would then become part of Dartmouth’s house system of undergraduate dorms.

Dartmouth last built new dorms in 2006, when the 161-bed Fahey McLane and 341-bed McLaughlin Cluster opened.

Two other residence halls were then renovated a few years later. Dartmouth said about half of its undergraduate housing on campus has not been renovated for at least 15 years.

The public sessions with Mills will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, noon on Thursday, and 6 p.m. on Monday at the Filene Auditorium in Moore Hall.

Dartmouth officials plan to pick a “preferred site” following the three sessions and then present information to Dartmouth’s board of trustees next month.

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