GoHo gets a facelift
Colby's "green" dorm is going even greener. Renovation of the Goddard-Hodgkins (GoHo) dormitory, a special-interest housing dorm for students interested in living an eco-friendly lifestyle, is slated to begin during spring break. Despite the state of the economy, a budget of $2.5 million has been approved for the renovation, which is scheduled to be finished just in time for the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year.
According to project manager Gordon Cheesman, the foundation will be laid, preparations for the elevator will be made and the porch will be torn off the backside of the building during spring break. The work will continue through April, with a break in May for finals week and commencement, before resuming again over the summer.
Because construction will be taking place throughout the semester, the students who are currently living in GoHo will be given the option to remain in the dorm next year as compensation.
Kim Kenniston, associate director of Campus Life, said that the residents of GoHo will have a special room draw lottery in early April where they will have the option of reserving their rooms before the dorm is opened up to the general housing lottery.
When GoHo Community Advisor Dan Homeier '12 told residents about the renovation he said, "They seemed pretty excited."
The College has been in the process of renovating buildings across campus since the mid-1990s and in 2008 began working on remodeling the dorms on Roberts Row, the old fraternity houses. Pierce and Perkins-Wilson were both renovated during the summer of 2008. The Roberts Row renovations were supposed to continue, but due to uncertainty about the economy, none of the dorms were renovated last year.
Both Treworgy and Goddard-Hodgkins were identified as the next dorms that would be renovated, but only the renovation of GoHo was approved for this year. GoHo was chosen to be renovated next because there will be no change in the number of students that the dorm will be able to house.
The plans for the renovation are very similar to the work done on Pierce and Perkins-Wilson. The renovation will bring all the rooms up to room-size standards, as well as bring all facilities in the building up to campus standards.
All living spaces will be removed from the basement and better support spaces will be provided. This means that there will be large bike and trunk rooms, a new lounge and an updated kitchenette.
The other major component of the project is increasing accessibility in the dorm. An elevator will be installed and an additional staircase will be built in lieu of the fire escape that currently is on the outside of the building.
As always, the project will be completed with a focus on sustainability. The renovations of Pierce and Perkins-Wilson recently earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, meaning that the building is environmentally responsible. Because the plans are very similar, it is expected that the renovation of GoHo will bring the number of LEED certified buildings on campus up to six.
Whether the dorm will again be the "green" dialogue dorm on campus is still being determined, as dialogue house proposals are currently being evaluated. But, "green" house or not, after the renovation, GoHo will certainly be eco-friendly.