by Page Forrest
Rumors about a new dorm have floated around campus for the past several weeks, closely tied to the whispers that next year’s freshman class will be even larger than this year’s. Associate Dean of Students for Residential Life, Mary Beth Bankson Williams, debunked the rumors, firmly stating that there are no concrete plans right now for a new dorm, and that next year’s freshman class will be smaller.
“Sewanee will continue to grow, but incrementally.” Williams said. “As the school grows, a new dorm will be necessary, but everything is still in the idea phase.” While we will not be getting a new dorm any time in the near future, there are exciting dorm projects to come.
In January, the Board of Regents approved a $25 million Deferred Maintenance plan for the school. The money from the plan will go to updating older or broken parts of dorms. In addition to addressing well-known dorm problems like the kitchen in Hunter, and Gorgas’air-conditioning system, the plan “identifies a number of lighting and HVAC projects that will save energy when they are replaced due to aging,” according to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) progress report for Sewanee. Williams also noted that the money could potentially be used for the expansion of some dorms, though nothing is certain.
The Deferred Maintenance will be Sewanee’s main construction project until the funding is used up, along with the construction of the townhouses next to Stirling’s.