Multiple Residence Halls to Be Rebuilt, Renovated

March 28, 2004

Kate Dearing, <i>Hullabaloo</i> staff writer

The construction on the Zemurray Residence Hall and future reconstruction of Old Doris Hall continue the University push to improve housing on campus. "The current housing upgrades are a part of a long-term plan for improving housing," Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Denise Taylor said. Known as "New Residence Hall Project One," the dormitory scheduled to replace Zemurray Hall will cost approximately $15.5 million and will be completed in August 2005.

Zemurray was demolished in the summer of 2003, and construction of the new building, originally intended to begin this semester but was delayed due to contract problems, will commence after finals in May. It will house 265 freshmen when completed, and each floor will have social and study lounges, washers and dryers and snack machines.

"Community space is important for each group of students living on each floor," Taylor said. Unlike the current freshman residences, it is designed to only have suite style rooms with two single or double rooms sharing a connecting bathroom.

The second major project is the destruction and replacement of Old Doris Hall. This project will also cost $15.5 million and will open in August 2006 for the incoming freshmen. Doris will be demolished in the winter of 2005, and the replacement plans and construction are under the supervision of architects Hanbury, Evans, Wright and Vlasttas. The layout will be similar to the building scheduled to replace Zemurray.

It will also house 265 freshmen in suite style rooms, and feature study lounges, laundry facilities and vending machines on each floor. The third major project is the renovation of Sharp Hall. This will cost approximately $12 million, and will begin once the dormitory replacing Doris is completed. The renovation is still in the planning stages, and architect selection will begin later this year.

To pay for these projects, Tulane has set aside a budget of $50 million in bond money to use over the course of five years. The remaining $8 million left after these projects will be spent repairing and updating Monroe, Irby, Josephine Louise, Phelps and Butler Halls and the Aron Residences.

"The work on these halls will occur during the summers, and will not result in taking these buildings offline during the academic year," Taylor said. These projects are not the first steps towards improved on-campus housing. "The initial study [for the process] was conducted between 1993 and 1995 and resulted in the renovation of Paterson [Hall] and the construction of both Mayer and Willow Residences," Taylor said.

Many departments are working in order to make these projects a success. Director of Facilities Management for Capital Groups Mike Jester is overseeing the construction of the halls. University Architect Collette Creppel is overseeing the design of the projects. In addition to these individuals, several students and administrators have joined the Project and Constituent Committee, formed for each of the two projects.

They meet with architects on a monthly basis to see if special needs like telecommunications and card and vending services are provided. Students from the Associated Student Body and the Residence Hall Association along with staff members from Housing and Residence Life, Facilities Services, Budget, Campus Planning, Student Affairs, the Provost's Office, the School of Architecture and Public Safety make up the representatives of both committees.

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