New Pitzer Residence Halls Near Completion

According to Vice President of Student Affairs, Jim Marchant, the construction of Pitzer
College’s Phase II residence halls is more than halfway finished and will be done by the end of June.

“We’re past all the design. We’re
about 75 to 80 percent through construction,” Marchant said. “We’re doing a lot of
exterior finishes and interior finishes.”

The Phase II residence halls, which are currently being built north of Pitzer’s Atherton Hall, are the second
part of Pitzer’s three-part construction project that will take place over
10 to 15 years. Phase I, consisting of Atherton, Pitzer, and Sanborn Halls, was
completed in 2007. Once Phase II is complete, the college will be able to house
almost 90 percent of Pitzer students, Marchant said. Currently, 80 percent of Pitzer students live on campus.

The Phase II residence halls will house the
Intercollegiate Media Studies Department, some classrooms, Pitzer’s study abroad
offices, the Pitzer archives, and a high-end demonstration
kitchen, in addition to 300 student rooms.

Marchant said Phase III will be built
in three to five years, depending on fundraising and the economy. The project will most
likely include renovating Mead Hall’s north towers and building new halls where
Holden Hall and Mead Hall’s south towers currently stand.

The Phase II residence halls are on track to
be LEED Platinum-certified, joining Pomona’s Pomona and
Sontag residence halls. Environmentally friendly features will include drought-resistant
native planting, gray water reclamation, local materials, and new trees planted
around the buildings. 

“Sustainability obviously is important to us, so we’re
trying to push the limit in all the features that we’re adding,” Marchant said.

Aidan Lukomnik PZ ’14 lives in the
Phase I residence halls, next to the construction site. He said noise has not been an
issue this year because the construction is delayed until 9 a.m. to let
students sleep. Lukomnik said that he has not heard any complaints this year,
although there were complaints last year that the construction blocked the view
of the Pitzer outback.

Kyle Gutstadt PZ ’14 lived in the
Phase I residence halls as a first-year student and said the construction never kept him awake. 

“They
haven’t been telling us much about the plans—whether it’s going to be suite
living or doubles or singles,” he said. “But overall, it looks great.” 

Marchant said that he is planning
to send an update to the community about the construction soon. The last update
was sent in the fall. 

One of the goals of the increased
campus living is to bring upperclassmen back onto campus. Marchant said that there is a culture of living off campus at Pitzer, especially compared to
some of the other Claremont Colleges.

Gutstadt said he plans to live off campus
for part of next year but hopes to live in the Phase II residence halls as a senior.

“I think that there’s value in
students living off campus and becoming independent, but I also think that
there are some negative effects on the residential community when we lose all
the senior leadership,” Marchant said.

 

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