A Historical Residence is Given New Life

PCL is leading renovations at Carleton College to transform a historic student residence hall so that it will be more conducive to student interaction and community focus. The project involves gutting and renovating the 41,000-square-foot Evans Hall while maintaining the historic integrity of the building
The exterior of the historical Evans Hall being renovated by PCL on the campus of Carleton College.The exterior of the historical Evans Hall being
renovated by PCL on the campus of Carleton

A Snapshot of History

Carleton College is a pristine and prestigious liberal arts campus tucked away in the northeast corner of Northfield, Minnesota. The original Evans Hall was built in 1927, and the residence was modeled on a Harvard-style design, popular in that era. The highly collaborative nature of student interactions in today’s post-secondary institutions calls for a more open and free-flowing floor plan. Renovations to the residence include the creation of a central corridor, as well as a kitchen and student lounge on each floor.   
Associate Dean of Students Julie Thornton is excited about the stronger community hall spaces.  
“Having a main entrance where all students will enter the building, although very simple, is a wonderful new way to pull Evans community together,” Thornton said. “There are incredible views from different corners of the hall as well.”

The Need for Speed

The Evans Hall Renovation planning has been in the works for three years. PCL is on an expedited six-month schedule to finish the project so students can move back into the dorm by the beginning of the spring 2013 semester. Jeff Pugmire, the PCL project manager for the job, is confident that PCL will meet its deadline.
“Ordering materials early is key,” said Pugmire, “A lot of construction contractors are in the same time crunch in the summer, so project teams need to get their orders in early or run the risk of waiting in line behind 1,000 other projects.”

Unique Student Living

Evans Hall is unique on the Carleton campus because, unlike other dorms, no two rooms are identical. The hall consists of single, double, triple, and quad rooms.
Johona Harris, the College’s interior designer on the project, said that Carleton wanted to maintain the historic aspect of the building while incorporating modern amenities for today’s college student.