Missing In Action: That classic musty Butts smell.
The renovations and expansions in the Butts that we observed at the beginning of this summer are now complete—that is to say, the Butterfields now have a new identity and meaning to this crop of freshmen.
Some of the new spaces are retrofitted from old COL and Career Center offices and lounges, and others were created with the help of slight extensions to the actual building—the overhang in Butt C, for example, is now an indoor space, though its stone steps are thoughtfully preserved. Kitchens and laundry rooms in each unit, and a fresh coat of Wesleyan Red paint, also mark the dawning of a new era. The freshmen who didn’t get the new rooms, which are air-conditioned, are clearly envious (though some might eventually realize the advantages of living in a single).
And the unmistakable, musty “Butts smell”? “People keep telling me it smells like different things,” said Katie Lindeman ’16 (who is from Amherst, MA) from her spacious new triple. To my nose, it smelled like pepper. Photos of the renovations after the jump.
New dorm rooms also means more triples. But ResLife isn’t calling them “forced triples.”
If you live on Lawn, you can probably hear the power saws from your room. If you don’t, here’s the tip: a whole lot of construction is happening in the Butts. Now that the Career Resource Center and COL/Art History departments have vacated the Butts in favor of 41 Wyllys, ResLife has taken the initiative to snatch up the former office space and build some new dorm rooms.
Here’s the lowdown: there will be new dorm rooms for 92 students. Hallways will become common areas. Each of the Butts will have its own laundry room (no more lugging all your clothes to the Butt B basement). As the Argus reported earlier this semester,
The additional dormitory space is part of a larger plan to increase the student population by 120 undergrads, which the University has been pursuing by increasing acceptances by 30 students each year for the past three years. This goal will be accomplished with the admittance of the class of 2016, and the construction in the Butterfields will help to alleviate the increase in triples in other dorms.
Buckle in, 2016—you’re going to be
the biggest class yet another big class, and a whole lot of you will be in triples. You won’t be getting compensated for it, either. As Director of ResLife Fran Koerting explained to me via email, the new triples in the Butts will be sized specifically for the purpose. Consequently, “students in triples will no longer receive a discount nor a point adjustment now that we are able to use rooms that are larger than a traditional double.” Current triple-dwellers: any thoughts on the matter? Since only eight of the new dorm rooms are triples, there’s no word on how this policy will affect frosh assigned to less luxurious triples. (Edit: Fran writes in to clarify: “The other 22 rooms we will be using are triples we have used in the past that are larger than traditional doubles, such as the larger corner rooms in Clark and the triple in Westco, as well as the larger triples we have used in Butterfield.”)
Click past the jump for a brief interview with Koerting about the construction and a gallery of the construction site.
Are you excited for the new squash court building renovation? (does the building have a name yet? geez!) The Career Center, one of the future tenants of the building, sure is. Today’s Facebook update at 2:16PM:
moving, moving, moving was the talk of our staff meeting this morning…getting excited for our new space!!
That’s not all though, there’s a link…to a livestream video feed of the building that appears to be from a camera on the roof of Usdan. Check it out if you’re curious and want to see what the construction workers are up to.
Two of these signs were posted today on the fence outside Davenport on the Church St. side:
It’s a bit difficult to read at the bottom, but it notes that the construction company working on the building has apparently violated Connecticut workers’ compensation laws–both by not paying out workers’ comp benefits and (I’m paraphrasing) “misrepresenting employees as independent contractors.” The company has ten days to appeal, but the order makes it sound like there can be no further work done on the building until the violations are rectified (the text in all caps reads “[…] CEASE ALL BUSINESS OPERATIONS FOR THIS WORKSITE”). Sounds like this could be a bit of a problem.
Uh oh! Construction on the $160 million new Molecular and Life Sciences building has been indefinitely postponed due to new budgetary constraints, according to the new WSA report from the Board of Trustees. Construction was supposed to begin in 2009 and be finished by 2015, but it’s probably a good idea to put off the plans until there’s actually money to build it:
“You can’t just add, you have to cut,” Roth said. “I’m not going to increase the debt ratio just to get the building up…That’s why we’re having these conversations [about postponing construction] – “there’s a long history of Wesleyan spending money and not investing it properly.”
Roth went on to invoke the financial blunders of past University presidents, including the use of the University’s entire endowment to build the Center for Fine Arts (CFA), which was not yet completed when funds ran out.
…“The University is committed to investing in the sciences, but the upheaval in the financial markets requires us to revisit our original plans,” Bruno said.