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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

C.A.N.O.E. Will Renovate, Relocate to Hill

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Five years ago, an avalanche in western China’s Sichuan Province killed Wade Johnson ’07 and two other climbers.

To honor his memory, Johnson’s parents recently donated money to renovate CANOE house, a place Johnson contributed to deeply while at Carleton.

Johnson, who graduated Phi Beta Kappa, was an active member of CANOE, Carleton’s popular outdoors club. As a student, he lived in the CANOE interest house and was a house manager. Since his death, his parents Susan and Bruce Johnson have donated $1000 annually to CANOE in Wade’s honor.

The recent donation to renovate CANOE house is a “once in a lifetime opportunity for CANOE,” according to CANOE president Callum McCulloch ’14.

Twelve students currently live in Chaney House, the off-board CANOE interest house. WIth the renovation donation in the future, CANOE hopes to use its interest house to facilitate the club, send out trips, and store gear.

A student working group compiled of eight to ten house, board and community members is forming to discuss how to best use the money. “Student involvement is one of the key parts of the donation,” McCulloch said.

The working group will collaborate with Johnson’s family and the school administration to create a plan for the project.

The administration has suggested possibly remodeling Hill House to turn it into CANOE’s new headquarters.

Residential life and facilities staff noted that the interior of Hill is already in need of renovation. Gayle McJunkin, associate vice president for external relations said, “This is an exceptional opportunity to improve and upgrade the interior of Hill House and to provide better space for the equipment and training needs of the CANOE Club and the many Carleton students who participate in their activities.”

Hill, which is home to twenty-five students, could potentially offer CANOE more appropriate communal meeting and storage space than Chaney currently does.

However, not everyone is so excited about this possibility. With Huntington, Love and Crack Houses no longer in use and the reduction of Northfield Option, there are fewer and fewer non-interest in the event that the school continues to non-dorm housing options.

Hill resident Lindsay Rand ’15 pointed out that Hill provides a home for 25 students who do not want to live in dorms, be off-board or be substance free and that the house offers a unique opportunity to bring people together who may not otherwise have known each other.

Hill houses “an interesting community with a specific niche on campus,” she said. The members of CANOE are not blind to this problem. McCulloch believes that “draw-in options that aren’t an interest house need to exist.” In addition, he stressed that increased options are necessary, especially bring more people on campus.

He also recognizes that “there is a unique culture around Hill and that kind of space needs to exist somewhere around campus.”

Originally, residential life looked at renovating Chaney. However, McJunkin said, “Hill House has been identified as a preferred location for the renovated CANOE house.”

The earliest the renovations would start would be this summer, and as of now, no timeline has been set for the process, she said. The remodeling is expected to take about six months to complete.

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