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Orchard Meadow hall: single room for a double’s price

Michelle Ma

Construction of the proposed building for the Graduate School of Business will result in the reduced price of certain rooms in Orchard Meadow Hall during room draw on April 15.

Currently located in Reinhardt Hall, the plans for the new building locate it in the meadow shared by the Orchard Meadow and Warren Olney dorms, across from the library.

Since the Board of Trustees will vote on May 10, when students are away on summer break, the administration will compensate residents for the noise even though the building may not be approved.

The approximately 30 single rooms in Orchard Meadow close to the construction site are being offered at a discounted rate, according to Karen Maggio, Assistant Vice President of Business Affairs. They will be offered at the double room rate, $5,100 per year, instead of the single room rate of $5,790 per year, to compensate for possible construction.

Freshwoman Maya Gilbert said the discount is a good idea. “I wouldn’t mind paying less for less of a view,” she said.

Kennedy Golden, acting dean of students, said that students considering living in the affected Orchard Meadow rooms need to consider their own tolerance levels for the noise and dust produced by the construction outside.

“I wouldn’t recommend it for students who sleep during the day and work late at night,” Golden said.

Maggio said construction would run to around 3:30 p.m. each weekday.

Student concerns focused on the location of the building.

“Someone sold Mills to me by talking about the open grass areas we have here. She told me ‘it’s the perfect place to enjoy the outside life as well as an education.’ Are women going to lose this open area because of expansion?” questioned freshwoman Kathryn Hall.

The construction plans accommodate special concerns by creating the building in the shape of an L between the two residence halls.

Maggio and Golden said that Mills cannot reveal the specifics of the building or the budget because the plans are not stable.

“It keeps changing,” said Maggio. She added, “We’re not withholding information. We’re bursting at the seams with pride and joy, but [the building] hasn’t been approved.”

Other considerations included roadway access, but Maggio and Golden said that the construction will be contained.

“We can’t just block off any of the three streets,” said acting Dean of Students Golden.

The Orchard Meadow wing that would be impacted by possible construction is the Accessibility Wing, where students with disabilities reside. Maggio said that these students were taken into account.

“Accessibility will be improved because of the drainage of the meadow for construction. [The meadow] is a swamp when it rains!” said Maggio, adding that ramps will connect Orchard Meadow and Warren Olney to the building.

Golden said that Mills will keep students who are away for the summer informed about the progress of construction plans so that “there’s not a big surprise next semester.”