Fairchild Facelift Inside and Out
By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
July 23, 2008
Fairchild's new entrance is now handicap accessible.
The second oldest dorm on campus is set to welcome back students come fall
now that its interior renovations have been completed.
Fairchild Hall was totally gutted when the $8.5 million project began last
year. The newly designed interior allowed room for an elevator and other changes
necessary to bring the 1915 building up to code.
On the ground level, where the full common kitchen is located, the vestibule
was opened up by taking down a wall. Adding more windows in the rec area there
enhanced the feeling of space and light. Windows in the study areas on each
floor were also increased, making the spaces feel bigger simply by increasing
Adding the elevator resulted in two fewer beds per floor but it makes for
a better building, says project manager Rich Rouleau. All told, 25 beds were
lost in the redesign. The dorm will now house 126 students in 15 single, 24
double and 21 triple rooms. And, there’s air conditioning.
A 4th floor triple.
Space was also taken to increase the size of the bathrooms. On the first and
third floor, the communal accommodations have what’s called a flex bath,
a bathroom within a bathroom, for handicapped individuals. A new bathroom was
also added on the lower level.
Refuge areas were added on all four floors as well. Located at the end of
the hallways, each space is large enough for a wheelchair and has a telephone
that immediately connects with emergency dispatch. If there was a fire or some
other crisis that prohibited using the elevator, a handicapped person could
go to the refuge area to call for help and wait there until it arrived.
The size of the hall director’s apartment was expanded to add a second
bedroom. The office is located on the ground level.
The three closet doors indicate this room is a triple.
Tearing out the ceilings meant assorted wiring—some of which was previously
exposed--—could be hidden. Woodwork that remained was brought back to
its original finish. Even the hardware for the handrails was matched to the
The original ventilators on the roof were also kept; one is for air intake
while the other serves as the vent for the bathrooms.
The quad area behind the building will have a central lawn with large paved
sections at each end for tables and chairs, creating outside study areas.
The lighted canopy along the back of the building is a new addition.