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With Dorm Redo, Georgia Tech Aims to Keep up with Joneses

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The Ramblin' Recks over at the North Avenue Trade School are in the midst of converting two residence halls dating from the late-1940s into one super-residence hall dating from the mid-2010s, which just so happens to be located within two 1940s shells. This dorm-ception, choreographed by locally based firm Stevens & Wilkinson with some help from VMDO Architects out of Virginia, is slated to be complete for the fall of 2015. For the green-minded Yellow Jackets, the project is on track to attain LEED Gold certification; silver or platinum would never suffice for those who wear white and gold. With no requirement for freshmen to live on campus, Tech is likely facing an uphill battle to entice students to pay top dollar to live on campus, as new student-oriented housing options such as the relatively luxe University House spring up around Midtown. With the biggest amenity to boast being the "Freshman Experience" and the privilege to share a bathroom with 30 other teenage boys, $750+ per month to share a bedroom in a dilapidated building won't cut it.

Glenn and Towers Halls are relics of a time when dorms weren't the hubs of activity they are today. The renovation will bring the halls into ADA and code compliance with modernized interiors, while adding additional rooms to the attic spaces in each dorm. Additionally, the project will connect the two roughly 60,000-square-foot dorms by way of an 8,600-square-foot block of amenities, including a fitness center and classroom space. Which will give Techies even less of a reason to venture outside.

The two halls, sandwiched between the Connector and Bobby Dodd Stadium, have served as male-only freshmen dorms since they were constructed in 1947. Given their proximity and homogeneity, there is a well-established rivalry between the dorms, with a contributor to the Wikipedia article going so far as to deem them "archrivals." No word on how the communities will cope being fused at the hip.

— Michael Kahn

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