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Dillon summer-long remodeling underway

Kate Antonacci | Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Dillon Hall began a makeover on March 3, a process that will take through the summer to complete, but will leave the men’s dorm with new windows, updated bathrooms and a laundry room. For the past few weeks, crews have been pulling out loose mortar between the bricks and stones, while also power-washing the exterior of the building, Dillon rector Father Paul Doyle said.”This is loud work. The men have been very understanding. I tried to give the men an explanation before each step of this process,” Doyle said. “As of tonight or tomorrow night they will have power-washed all of Dillon Hall except the courtyard facing Alumni. Noise is over with for the men of Dillon.”Once the power-washing is complete, workers will start the time-consuming process of putting in new mortar in where they found and removed loose mortar, Doyle said. Dillon will also be equipped with new windows over the summer, with windows scheduled to arrive May 16.”They’ll just take out the current windows which are in very, very bad shape,” Doyle said. Alumni Hall received new windows last summer, and, according to Doyle, it was a stretch to finish in those few months. “It was a photo finish getting Alumni done, so they knew they couldn’t get it [Dillon] done in the window between graduation and [freshmen orientation],” Doyle said. “Alumni should have been done first because it’s the first one you see when you come onto campus.”Doyle said that Dillon “is a significantly bigger building” and the University wanted to ensure that all of the work was done properly and finished for the fall. Last year, due to discoloration of window frames due to power-washing, a few windows had to be replaced on Alumni at the last minute, Doyle said.”The University learned from the experience last summer to stay well ahead of the power-washing,” Doyle said.During the summer months, the dorm’s six large bathrooms, two on each floor, will be completely redone. “The plumbing is old; it works, but there are problems from time to time. New porcelain will come in and new pipes will be put in the wall,” Doyle said. “That’s a major outlay. Obviously the dorm is not going to be used this summer for high school sports camps and such.”A washer and dryer room will also be put in the basement of Dillon, Doyle said.Though the process is a long one, Doyle said that the men of Dillon, as well as the rest of the campus community, have been understanding.”Not one student has complained about this, which is a real credit to them. They understand where we’re headed,” Doyle said. “Maybe some people feel put out, but nothing has come to the [resident assistants] or me.”Doyle has worked with the construction crews to make the whole situation more accommodating for students. For example, the crews begin work each day at around 9 a.m., as opposed to 7 a.m. as they would with other projects. “Workers are trying to keep the major inconveniences at a minimum,” Doyle said. “They come in and ask for input from me once every 3 or 4 days.”The largest issue with the work on Dillon thus far has been the noise caused by the power-washing.”There certainly has been noise during the day but I think people are just putting it up with it during the day. They know it is for a good reason because it will be really nice in the end,” said Brian Hammel, assistant rector of Dillon.Some students have found the noise disturbing amidst attempts to study, sleep and live in the rooms.”They’ve been working on the windows for about a month now, they’re like power-washing all of them to try to make them look a little better, but I haven’t really noticed a difference and it’s really loud and annoying, especially when they start work at like 8:30 outside my window,” freshman Scott Hagan said.Many students, however, recognize that the final product will be a positive addition to Dillon. “They have a lot of work to do still this summer, and Dillon definitely needs new windows, so I can appreciate it. It would be a much bigger pain if they still had to replace the windows when we got back next fall,” freshman Tyler Elson said. “It’s a bit of noise, but we could all stand to get an earlier start to our day anyway.”