North Village II Moving Forward

By SAMANTHA HUNGERFORD ([email protected])

From the beginning of the school year, the student body has shared the campus with some 200 workers and the ever-present construction site of North Village Phase Two. Students have seen it being built from the ground up, but progress and expectations for the site remain largely unknown.

“North Village Phase Two is on schedule. It is scheduled to be finished next summer and will be occupied next fall,” said Ken Hannah, Director of the Physical Plant. In fact, there seem to have been only very minor setbacks in the construction’s progress.

Even Meadville’s notorious weather hasn’t slowed the work down.

“Other than weather, it’s been pretty good,” Hannah said. “We just need to get the lights in so that we have some light back there. It’s so dark now.”

Currently, the contractors on the job are in the process of digging wells for the geothermal heating and cooling that North Village Phase Two will feature. With a total of 45 wells, each well going down 200 feet, and an average of one well being completed per day, this process should be finished within the next two weeks.

Aside from the energy-efficient geothermal system, the dorm will feature apartment-style living and a total of 232 beds to house the growing student population. There will be no large lounges like those in the original North Village, but there will be a rec-room. The living spaces will include singles, doubles and quads, each with their own kitchen. Quads will have the added benefit of an oven in their kitchen instead of the standard microwave.

Hannah notes that he believes this new layout will benefit the residents.

“I think it’ll be an apartment that’s more conducive to student-style living,” he said.

The North Village Phase Two project is set to expand slightly onto the street, incorporating the construction of a new crosswalk and pair of brick columns at the intersection of John Street and North Main by the 454 Admissions House.  There are also plans to pave the parking lot outside Caflisch.

“We’ll take the gravel parking lot at Caflisch and that will get completely redone and get paved,” Hannah said. “We’ll landscape it and it’ll be a permanent parking lot then instead of temporary.”

After construction is completed on campus the Physical Plant does not intend to take on any more major undertakings.

“As far as other projects, I think the college is finished with new buildings for a while,” Hannah said. Instead, Physical Plant plans to renovate the other residence halls next.

“I want to continue replacing furniture in the residence halls and sprinklers for the buildings, those are my aspirations.”