Tufts to renovate several residence halls over the summer

Bush Hall is pictured on March 25, 2019. (Ben Kim / The Tufts Daily)

Tufts has scheduled renovations for Bush, Tilton and Harleston Halls this summer, as well as 123 Packard Ave., the former house of the Theta Delta Chi Fraternity, which the university purchased last month and will transform into a residence hall starting fall 2019.

Christopher Hogan, construction program manager, said the upcoming restorations are part of the deferred maintenance program.

“[It] can be easily described as periodic upkeep to make sure all of our buildings are operating at an acceptable standard,” Hogan said in an email to the Daily.

According to Hogan, the university selected Tilton and Bush for maintenance to preserve the standard of quality in residential halls and alleviate several of the issues on-campus housing faces.

“Tufts needs to add beds on campus, but it also needs to ensure that existing beds are in well-maintained residential facilities,” he said. “Both goals are achieved when we invest deferred maintenance and capital funding into housing projects.”

While Hogan described updating in Harleston as comparably less intensive than renovating Tilton and Bush, a significant change to the building will come in the form of electronic dorm room lock installations. Bush and Tilton will experience more extensive work as pipes, bathrooms and lighting will be replaced or renovated to enhance the overall living experience, in addition to new common space furnishing.

“The planned work will bring vibrancy to the spaces and provide the residents more inviting options to gather outside of their rooms,” Hogan said. “The new bathrooms will maintain the previous single-use bathroom layouts, but new tile, lighting and fixtures will create a much cleaner environment.”

Regarding changes coming to 123 Packard Ave., the updates will focus on adding standard dorm features such as security cameras, keycard access and WiFi, according to Hogan. Nevertheless, the distinctive features of the former fraternity house, such as the basement, will not be subject to any major construction.

“No construction is planned in the common spaces, except perhaps for a new coat of paint,” Hogan said.

For Andrew Vu, a current resident of Tilton, the coming changes are essential for the sake of keeping the building a sound living space.

“The bathrooms are disgusting,” Vu, a first-year, said. “This dorm is suffering to a point [that] it is sometimes inhospitable.”

Georgia Moore, another Tilton resident, echoed Vu’s thoughts. Having experienced everything from closet doors falling off hinges to broken mailboxes and drying machines, Moore, a first-year, said she is ready for Tilton to change.

Tilton needs to catch up to other dorms,” she said.

Despite her grievances, Moore maintains that living in Tilton is an important and positive aspect of her first-year experience.

“Tilton builds a community around the idea that Tilton is horrible. Honestly, it makes the people closer,” she said. “In the end, I have a roof over my head and a warm building to sleep in.”


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