Bridgewater College announces two major construction projects
Two major construction projects – one of which will significantly improve two existing student residence halls and the other will provide new village-style student housing at Bridgewater College – have been announced by the College’s board of trustees.
The first phase of both projects will get under way in February-March 2010 and be completed by August, in time for the 2010-11 academic year.
According to Anne B. Keeler, vice president for finance and treasurer at Bridgewater College, one project will renovate and add two connecting links to Wright and Heritage halls, which are located just west of Bowman Hall at Dinkel Avenue and Third Street. The second project will see the construction of the first of a series of village-style student residences on the east campus at East College and College View streets.
The renovation of Wright and Heritage – two 1959-61 residence halls – will be accomplished in several phases, the first of which will cost approximately $2.5 million, noted Keeler. Phase one, she said, will include the construction of a link that will join the two halls; a pedestrian plaza that will replace an existing small parking area; a café on the ground floor of the link; and a patio for outdoor eating, gathering and small performances.
Keeler said phase one will also see the construction of residences for 12 students in two suites, located on the second floor of the link; a fitness room, meeting rooms and recreation room; and the provision of elevator access to all three floors of Wright and Heritage.
Construction in future phases of the Wright-Heritage project will build a second link that will form a courtyard between the two residence halls; the installation of air conditioning; fully renovated bathrooms; electrical and system upgrades; and new interior finishes.
“The project timeline currently anticipates completion of both links and the Wright upgrades by 2014, but the schedule will depend on economic conditions, room demand and the availability of financing,” said Keeler.
East campus housing
“To accommodate what we anticipate as a gradual growth in residential students, Bridgewater will begin construction of a multi-unit student housing complex at East College and College View streets,” Keeler said. “These village-style residences will be safe and secure, unique to the culture of the College and the region and go beyond our norm for campus housing.”
Phase one, she said, will include up to three units that can house 32-40 students in four-student apartments.
“Units will be similar in style and layout, but distinctive so that the final result will resemble a traditional neighborhood,” she said.
Keeler noted that each larger unit will house 16 students in two-story buildings that incorporate design elements of local residential neighborhoods, such as spacious porches and a modified Victorian style. Smaller units will house eight students each, but all, said Keeler, will be more similar to single-family dwellings than to commercial apartment buildings.
“There will be a strong focus on outdoor gathering spaces and features designed to encourage a sense of community, including green space, seating areas, outdoor fireplaces and recreational features,” Keeler said.
Keeler added that the new housing, which will be academically centered with both indoor and outdoor-centered classroom areas, is designed for efficiency in operations and maintenance while creating a contemporary, yet timeless aesthetic.
“We see this new development as not only providing Bridgewater with the student housing it will need in the future, but also as giving the college a competitive advantage that will promote student interest and enrollment.”
Keeler said design work is still pending regarding building material selection and site planning.