New House faces possible destruction

Conversation to take place over next year will determine dorm's fate

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The future of New House will be discussed next fall. The dormitory first opened in 1975 and faced severe water damage last year.
Lenny Martinez–The Tech

Article Update: This article was updated Thursday afternoon to reflect the information that Ben Peters provided to House 3 residents.

A previous version of this article misstated the day that DormCon members spoke with Chancellor Barnhart. DormCon leaders spoke with the Chancellor on 1 a.m. on Thursday. 

New House will need to be “thoroughly repaired or demolished,” DormCon President Kate Farris ’17 said in an email.

Sources from DormCon and the New House team have provided conflicting information about how the need to overhaul New House will be addressed over the next year.

“The official word is that New House will be demolished in May 2017 and a new building will be built in its place,” New House 3 GRT Ben Peters wrote in an email to House 3 residents.

Farris said she gathered from conversations that took place 1 a.m. Thursday between DormCon leadership and Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart PhD ’88 that discussions to weigh the two options will take place over the next academic year, and that the plans will be enacted beginning the following year.

Surveyors have begun to investigate how much each of the options will cost, Yonadav Shavit ’16, a former previous DormCon president, said.

If the dorm is destroyed, a new one will be built in its place, Farris’s email said.

Farris said that holding the discussions next year, rather than immediately, is intended to show consideration for students who are currently working on projects and preparing for finals week.

The news comes a few months after New House underwent about $6 million in repairs and renovations after several pipe bursts caused damage to the building.

If the dorm is shuttered, its 287 residents would likely be displaced.

“There isn’t a plan yet in place for the displaced residents or cultural houses; housing wants to get the students input and suggestions,” Peters wrote in his email.