The Thomas and Lightner renovations are complete, after three summers of work. As always with residence hall renovations, the priorities are safety, comfort, and then amenities. The first phase of the project was an upgraded fire alarm and sprinkler system. The heating and cooling was completed and then this summer a lot of work was done in rooms and corridors.
Thomas Hall will be a Sophomore College building and Lightner is for juniors and seniors -- as part of the upperclass area. The big little change in Thomas is ceiling fans. This is an addition introduced by Director of Physical Plant John Greene. I was not very supportive until I saw the ceiling fans. I do worry about maintenance and wear (okay, and drunk guys) but I think the fans will make the rooms feel more homey.
In Lightner, the floor lounges are complete (they weren't carpeted last year). The rooms were improved similar to the ones in Thomas Hall. The cherry on the top of all of this is the Lightner Tea Room (pictured). It is now fully accessible. It will also be open to residents 24/7 and will also be available as a program space. I would like to see some wine and cheese events up there for seniors with faculty.
To see more photos of the renovation, scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog to view some slide shows. What do you think? See the poll at right (and down). Not pictured is the new computer lab on the third floor of Thomas Hall.
The renovations worked aout to about $60,000 per room. That is pretty staggering, but most of the costs are in the building infrastructure. Under John Greene's leadership, the renovations were done to LEEDS specifications. The beds and chairs are even environmentally friendly.