Reconstruction of Graham allows for accommodation
Published: Thursday, May 12, 2011
Updated: Thursday, May 12, 2011 11:05
"RIP Graham Hall: 1969-2011," reads the inscription on the makeshift paper tombstone in the lobby window of the Graham 100 — a reflection of one of many transformations that will occur in the housing and Residential Living Communities next year.
Changes will include the opening of the newly completed Campbell townhouses, as well as the demolition of the current Graham buildings, which is scheduled for late June or early July.
Construction on the new building will begin immediately after and "New Graham" will be ready for students in the fall of 2012.
"I'll be sad to see it go. You see very often graduates come back to look at the old room where they lived and how many people comment on how it's changed," said junior ALPHA Community Facilitator Jim Molinar. "I'm very excited about the new building."
Due to the increase of incoming freshman and the loss of the Graham housing complex next fall, both current ALPHA community residents and a majority of the incoming freshmen will be housed in Nobili Hall, located behind the Mission Church.
Nobili Hall is traditionally known as being reserved for upperclassmen due to its triple accommodations and the private restrooms for each space.
"New Graham" will have a quad as part of its design, which was created after receiving input last October from nearly a dozen administrators and four current students. The importance of Graham's community feel and quad were expressed by students who lived in the community, said Jane Barrantes, assistant vice president of Auxiliary Services.
The new building will be connected as one complete unit, but there will still be a "neighborhood" feeling in each of the building's four sections, which can all be reached by individual elevators, said Barrantes.
"In light of the changes, we put in great effort to retain the same positive atmosphere in the community," said Phil Kesten, associate vice provost for Undergraduate Studies. "The new building that will be housing ALPHA will be amazing and is designed in every way to foster a community."
Each "neighborhood" will have a laundry unit, kitchen and lounge located on every floor and rooms will have air conditioning. Each neighborhood will house roughly 31 students, said Barrantes.
"If you study organizational behavior, people most easily make a connection with 150 people or less," said Barrantes. "We still want to preserve people's ability to know one another."
The new complex will also have a "show room" on the first floor for prospective students and campus tours that will not interfere with student living quarters, added Barrantes.
Because there is less space in Nobili than in the current Graham complex, only 120 students of the current 249 are expected to move to Nobili from Graham next fall. This means smaller numbers for the ALPHA community, and as a result, both Sobrato and Casa Italiana residence halls will be accepting more freshmen as part of their communities.
According to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Housing Office statistics, of the nearly 1,300 anticipated incoming freshmen, 90 percent will be living on-campus.
Because many juniors and seniors will be moving to the new Campbell townhouses, Sobrato and Casa Italiana suites including full kitchens and common areas, which were formerly reserved for upperclassmen, will be now available for sophomores.
With Campbell opening this fall, students are excited about the opportunities the new housing units will provide for those looking for a new housing experience while maintaining a connection to the campus.
"As our campus grows with new students, so do the opportunities," said sophomore and housing office student — employee Laura Antonelli. "Campbell allows juniors and seniors independence while still staying connected to campus".
Contact Leesa Riviere at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kurt Wagner of The Santa Clara contributed to this report.