Since the beginning of winter break, both William W. Philip Hall and the Dawg House — located on the first floor of the Mattress Factory — have been in the process of being renovated. The Dawg House update is organized by Facilities Services while renovations for WPH is managed by Campus Planning and Real Estate.
Facilities Services handles building maintenance to provide a safe and healthy learning experience for students across the campus, while Campus Planning and Real Estate focuses on ensuring students, faculty and the community access to high-quality facilities.
The Dawg House received its last major renovation in 2013. This was in preparation for an increase in student usage, as Longshoremen’s Hall Recreation and Collaborative Learning Center was to be demolished to make room for the construction of the University Y Student Center. However, much of that renovation was focused on painting and new furniture.
The Dawg House refurbishment comes after careful review from student and faculty feedback. Student Facilities Specialist Jeremy Homolka talks about how the decision to update the Dawg House was made.
“Over the past couple of years, we had been receiving more and more feedback from students regarding the Dawg House and its current state,” Homolka said. “Around the middle of last school year, we had decided that now was the time to act on that feedback and upgrade the space.”
One of the biggest concerns that the refurbishment aims to fix was the lack of charging options for phones, laptops and tablets. Another concern raised was the need for more than one microwave in the eating area. Other concerns taken into account when upgrading the Dawg House were lighting, outdated furniture and unused space.
With additional feedback and input from the Student Facilities Committee — a committee of students from various student groups on campus — the project was finally given the greenlight to begin construction in Spring of 2017 by the Services and Activities Fee Committee.
With a budget of $150,000, the plan for the Dawg House includes new paint, lighting fixtures and general upgrades. However, the biggest portion of the budget will go towards furniture and equipment.
“Much of the furniture in the Dawg House was purchased in mid-2000s and has surpassed its lifespan at this point,” Homolka explained. “Additionally, the current renovation allows for us to improve the space with new amenities — such as better lighting, expanded electrical and charging options at tables, and the ability to have more than one microwave in the same area — no joke on that one!”
To cut down on some of the cost, furniture — which is still in usable condition — will be left in the Dawg House, while other furniture will be placed in different student spaces around campus. So far, phase one of the renovations has been completed, which includes new paint, upgraded electrical capabilities and light fixtures. Phase two of renovations will take place over spring break of this year.
Just a few buildings away, WPH is closed for an overhaul of the A/V system, as well as adding additional speakers and upgrading the hall walls with acoustical paneling. The hall — which opened in autumn of 2008 — was the first campus space dedicated for hosting events. Director BrieAnna Bales from the Office of Advancement explains more about the primary goal for this renovation.
“We started receiving complaints early on about certain aspects of the A/V system,” Bales said. “The original equipment installed was an analog system, which is nearly obsolete at this time. The major component of this project is upgrading the system with digital equipment.”
The total cost for this renovation is $315,000, all of which is being paid for from the funds of the original WHP Building budget. The money itself came from the donations which were given exclusively for the WHP project.
The WPH project is expected to be completed by Jan. 31 and reopened Feb. 1. Chancellor Mark Pagano will host his first town hall meeting of the year in the newly refurbished building Feb. 6 at 12:30 p.m.