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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Evans renovation project put on hold by funding problems

< insufficient funding, plans for the renovation of Margaret Evans Hall have been suspended.  A recent report from the Evans Renovation Committee confirms that the dorm will remain open for the entirety of the 2010-2011 academic year. 

The $5.2 million project, originally scheduled for July through December of 2010, would combine floor life innovation with a series of safety improvements.  Renovators would merge the columns of Evans into hallways, install floor lounges and kitchens and add a central gathering space complete with a front door. 

The intent of these changes was to bring a more active floor life to Evans. The four and five-people room setup would be kept so that the dorm would retain a major component of its distinct character.  For several years the renovation committee worked to strike a balance between fostering more natural residential interaction and preserving the unique culture of the dorm.

A compromise was reached, but the availability — or lack thereof — of $5.2 million for the project stood as the limiting factor.  The project committee, co-chaired by Dean of Students Hudlin Wagner and Vice President and Treasurer of the College Fred Rogers, has agreed to leave existing plans intact and postpone renovation until sufficient funds are secured. 

“At this point we feel that we have developed a plan that will meet our needs and would prefer to delay for a year and do it this way as opposed to trying to break it up into several smaller projects,” Director of Residential Life Steve Wisener said.

Wisener, who reports that this course of action was reviewed briefly at the trustees meeting and got positive reception, remains optimistic that the beginning of Evans modernization is within a year’s reach. 

“I think the general level of support about the project is very positive,” he said, “and I’m excited to continue to explore ways to keep the project at the top of our priority list as we look for sources of funding.” 

In the meantime, Evans will remain open as a housing option for Carleton students.  Although the deferral of the Margaret Evans Hall renovation project may be a simple matter of sticking to the status quo, the dorm’s availability for the 2010-2011 academic year will be a factor for all to consider during room draw in the spring.

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