March 27, 2006

University trustees authorize $5 million to renovate Kusch, Michelson and Glaser houses

Larger than expected undergraduate enrollment means residence halls will remain for foreseeable future

Glaser House

Kusch, Michelson and Glaser houses, the three 1960's-vintage residence halls at the top of Carlton Hill, will soon be getting major facelifts.

Originally slated for demolition following the opening of the new Village at 115, university trustees recently authorized spending $5 million to renovate them. Work is expected to begin in late March and be completed by the end of July.

Don Kamalsky, assistant vice president of student affairs and director of housing, said the renovations will include about $1 million in external masonry work and $500,000 for new information technology infrastructure. The remainder will be used to renovate the living areas.

"In recent years we redid the public areas in those halls, but we never went into the bedrooms and bathrooms, we never carpeted, because we always assumed we would close those buildings. So we'll be putting in our standard bedroom furniture, carpet the suites and relight the interiors to make them brighter, more inviting spaces," Kamalsky said.

Kusch, Michelson and Glaser will continue to house second-year students. Kamalsky said they will be needed next year, and in the foreseeable future, because of the increase in undergraduate enrollment. This year's entering class had 1,170 students, the largest in the university's history. The university is planning to admit 1,050 students in 2006. The plans to demolish the three halls were based on entering classes of 900 students, Kamalsky said.

Another factor, Kamalsky said, has been the number of upperclassmen wanting to remain on campus. This year for the first time third-year students have been permitted to live off campus. "Because of that we thought more students would move off campus. Instead, when we opened the Village at 115, we had more than 200 students wanting to move back on to campus," Kamalsky explained.

The three Carlton Road halls work well programmatically for second-year students, since they consist of six-person suites "The south campus is a nice fit for second years in that they've found a group of friends they want to live with. And the suite living is a transition to the next step, which is apartment-style housing in the Village at 115," he said.

Because of the enrollment increases the university' has also kept open Alumni, Howe, Staley and Tippit houses on Murray Hill Road. They received interior improvements last summer and are being used as a residential college for first-year students. Beginning in the fall of 2006 they will house second-year students.

Kamalsky said the next step in the university's housing plan is to build new fraternities and sororities and residence halls for first-year students on the north side of campus. The new residence halls will be built in the form of residential colleges, and will probably include rooms for SAGES seminars as well as academic support space. No date has been set for starting construction.

Kamalsky added that the university still plans eventually to house all undergraduates on the north side of campus. "It will just happen further out in the future than we originally thought."

For more information: Jeff Bendix 216-368-6070.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, March 27, 2006 06:04 PM | News Topics:

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