Mathias Hall, one of Colorado College’s largest residence halls, is undergoing a long-anticipated and much-needed renovation. The improvements will enhance the quality of life for all Mathias Hall residents. The renovation will increase the flexibility of common spaces; enhance community with more inviting gathering spots; demonstrate a commitment to sustainability by utilizing low-flow water fixtures, recycled content materials, Energy Star appliances, and energy-efficient lighting; and integrate technology upgrades to improve opportunities for students to collaborate on projects and assignments. Specific improvements include: replacement of the fire sprinkler system, new flooring for common areas and bathrooms, the creation of private dressing spaces in the shower areas, the creation of open lounges that bring natural light into the building’s core, and upgraded lighting fixtures for all residence hall rooms and corridors.
An exciting aspect of the project is the expansion of the college’s Living Learning Communities (LLCs) from one to four. The program is a collaboration between multiple offices within both student life and academics. The purpose of an LLC is to provide an intentional housing community, including a dedicated kitchen and lounge area, for a group of students who would like to develop their knowledge around a shared interest. Although each community must abide by Colorado College guidelines and policies, each community also develops its own standards of living and program plans with the assistance of a staff advisor. Students who applied to participate in next year’s communities had the option of choosing among four different themes: Grassroots Organizing, The Spirit of Non-Violence, Gender and Sexuality, and Global.
Planning and design for the renovations began in October 2009, and construction commenced on May 14. The project is scheduled to be completed no later than August 16, as residence halls open on August 28 for the 2010-11 academic year.