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Renovations to Memorial Dorm Forces School to Adjust Rooming Plans

Renovations to Memorial Dorm Forces School to Adjust Rooming Plans

Renovations to Memorial Dorm Forces School to Adjust Rooming Plans

Newman Architects

Renders show the elevation of the renovated Memorial dormitory.

Creative Housing Spaces Explored

Contributing Writer

October 20, 2022

Victoria Feng '25

Memorial Hall, a dorm that typically houses an eighth of the student body, is under construction, causing ripple effects in housing across campus.


Built in 1923 to commemorate community members who died in World War I, Memorial is the oldest existing dorm on campus, yet its last significant renovation took place in 1963. The current renovations, set to be completed by August 2023, will update student rooms and expand faculty apartments. 


According to Mr. John Bryant, director of facilities, “[The] underground utility work outside the immediate building site area was completed over the summer. [And the] interior mechanical, electrical and plumbing ‘rough-in’ work has just begun.”


Ms. Amanda McClure, associate dean of student life, tackled the challenge of housing the 70+ students who normally reside in Memorial. She said, “Suddenly we had a whole population of students ... who needed to go into a different dorm. There were really tight tolerances, because every room [on campus] was taken. It was a really tight puzzle.”


Students have felt the impact of the renovations in the resulting residential assignments. Alternate housing has been set up in dorm basements and common rooms. Ms. McClure said, “The Tinker garden level hasn’t been used for student housing for a while, but it has been in the past. This is a flex space, meaning that it could be used for many different rooming situations.” Additionally, many rooms that were singles last year are now doubles.


Many students reacted negatively to rooming changes. Anna Ruiz ’25 and Abi Kizza ’25 live together in a single room in Flinn. Both have had roommates in the past, and were not initially upset by the housing arrangements. However, they have found it difficult to share space in the small room. 


Ruiz said, “We are in a dorm that’s meant for singles and our room is a double, so we have bunk beds, and we don’t really each have our own space. We’re on top of each other, literally. Sometimes that can be a lot when we are just trying to do our own thing, and we don’t want to be in each other’s business.”


Room sizes vary from dorm to dorm, which has exacerbated some students’ dissatisfaction. Kizza said, “I’ve been to Wieler. My friend has a double, and it’s probably two times the size of our room.”


Once Memo’s construction is finished, rooming congestion will be alleviated and many dorms will be able to reclaim common spaces. Ms. McClure said, “We are all really excited about the fact that we expect to get all the common rooms back next year. Common rooms are really essential for a strong residential program.”


The dorm will reopen for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Victoria Feng is a contributing writer for The Record.

A version of this article appears in the October 20 issue with the headline "Without Memo, School Adjusts Rooming Plans."

October 20, 2022

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.