By Maureen Cowhey '19
Returning Scripps students and first-years alike are noting the changes made to campus over the summer, most obviously the progress made on NEW Hall. NEW Hall is on schedule to open the last day in July 2016.
According to an article published by Scripps College News, NEW Hall will consist of 82 bedrooms, reducing the number of triples on campus. NEW Hall will have all the amenities of existing residence halls such as a browsing room, living room, and courtyards, while also meeting LEED silver standards of environmental sustainability. NEW Hall is the main solution to the overcrowding problem that affects 75% of Scripps first-years, as stated in an article titled “Our Signature Campus” published by Scripps College. Due to the increased number of admitted students over the past several years, a large population of students are placed in forced triples and doubles. Upon completion of this residence hall, the article claims, Scripps students living at Pomona and Claremont Graduate University will once again be able to live on Scripps campus.
Based off of the NEW Hall floor plans, the residence hall will consist of 7-bedroom suites, 5-bedroom suites, 4-bedroom suites, 3-bedroom suites, doubles, and singles, all spread out over three floors. There will also be two courtyards and a garden. The $18 million construction project was jumpstarted by an anonymous donation of $10 million. According to a Scripps College News article posted in Oct. 2014, the Georgia Ridder Foundation also donated $1.1 million towards NEW Hall.
Breaking ground late last school year, construction continued throughout the summer and will continue throughout this academic year. Josh Reeder, Director of Facilities at Scripps College, described the progress: “we re-routed underground utilities to prepare for pouring footings and foundations.” They are currently building the block walls.
While construction is set to start at 8 a.m., many students report being woken up earlier. An email from the Facilities Department states, “In anticipation of an El Nino weather event, the construction team needs to facilitate an accelerated construction schedule for NEW Hall.” Construction is set to continue most Saturdays, but students will be informed each Friday of the weekend schedule.
In response to early morning construction noise, Residence Advisors in Routt, Frankel, and GJW residence halls were issued earplugs to distribute. If you hear construction prior to 8 a.m., you can report it to hall staff.
In addition to NEW Hall construction, existing Kimberly Residence Hall was renovated. Reeder stated that Kimberly received air conditioning, a new roof, general ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) upgrades, and a relocated entryway. In addition to these major renovations, minor updates consisted of new paint, carpet, and furniture reupholstering.
The California drought played a role in this summer’s campus upgrades. The Facilities and Grounds department worked throughout campus to reduce Scripps’ water consumption.t
According to Scripps College News, the school has replaced over 80,000 square feet of grass with drought-resistant plants. New drought-tolerant grass has been planted in order to reduce water usage by 30 percent.
The Facilities department has also taken measures of water reduction in residence halls and the Sallie Tiernan Field House. Reeder explained that all 185 shower heads at Scripps will be replaced with more efficient, water-saving heads. This Oct., the pool’s filtration system will also be replaced. Reeder states that “between the shower heads and the pool filter, we think we can capture about 6% reduction overall for the campus.”