Claremont McKenna College renovated the Mid Quad residence halls over the summer, adding air conditioning and potentially gender-neutral bathrooms.
Renovations of the interior of Beckett, Berger, and Phillips Halls began in May and were mostly completed by the time students returned. Air conditioning was installed but will not start operating until late September.
“We gutted much of the buildings, sometimes down to the very frame,” wrote Eric Vos, CMC Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life, in an e-mail to TSL. “Some structural improvements were made in key places. In general, Beckett, Phillips, and Berger Halls received what I would call a significant makeover.”
The bathrooms in the halls were constructed so they can be used as gender-neutral bathrooms when coeducational housing is implemented. Tentatively scheduled to begin next spring, these would be the first gender-neutral halls in CMC.
“We know that many students desire a gender-neutral housing option, which would have to include gender-neutral bathrooms,” Vos wrote. “Therefore, we saw these renovations as an opportunity to capitalize on the need for gender-neutral housing by intentionally designing the renovated bathrooms with gender-neutral capability.”
Other additions to the residence halls include a music practice room in the basement of Marks Hall and study rooms in Beckett, Berger, and Phillips Halls. According to Vos, students have been asking for more space on campus to practice music and for more study rooms for group meetings. The administration will evaluate students’ use of these facilities throughout the year to determine possible future construction projects.
“The new study rooms are very nice,” said Residential Assistant of Beckett Hall Chad Tarpley CM ’15. “There is not much furniture in there yet, but there is a pretty big TV, and we’re planning a lot of movie nights.”
Phillip Pennell CM ’16 said that he appreciates the new music space, though the room is unfinished. Pennell has approached the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College and the CMC Dean of Students office to ask for funding to equip the room.
Vos wrote that Benson and Marks will be renovated next summer, but there are no current plans to renovate the other buildings on North Quad.