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2013 Winter Issue 1 (January 18, 2013)

New Meets Old in Evans Renovation

January 22, 2013
By Ellen Levine

Is the new Evans still the party dorm?  After less than three weeks in existence, the question is far from being resolved.

Carleton students moving into the recently renovated Evans Hall are getting used to the building’s changes, which emphasize modern convenience and ease of accessibility, as well as the retention of several of the building’s original features.  

“So far, it seems like people are treating the building with a little more respect, but that is just based on the fact that I have not smelled vomit in the hallways yet... Overall, I think they did a great job making the building modern while still retaining the feel of the old Evans,” Kaitlin Bagley ‘14 said.

Although the floors, back staircase, and most exterior aspects of the building have not been altered, the building’s entranceway, main staircase, windows, bathrooms, and floor lounges have been updated for a more modern and comfortable appearance and utility.  

The building’s old column organization has been replaced by a more conventional floor system. 

Students generally cite these changes as improvements upon the old dormitory.  “The main stairway is gorgeous,” Bagley said, “The rooms are significantly smaller than in the old Evans, but they have a lot of charm…The new windows are also a big improvement.  They open and close much easier and are significantly less drafty. The new bathrooms are far and away better than the old ones, and it doesn’t seem like they are getting gross as quickly, which is nice.”

However, student complaints about the new building include its small, cramped rooms, as well as bulky and inefficient design of new radiators. 

While the necessary changes to Evans were completed in time for the start of Winter Term, multiple reports of cold water for showers indicate that there is still work to be done on the building.

“The hallways and stairs looks really nice, but the rooms look like the old rooms,” Molly Gallop ’14 said, “Everything fits, but we don’t really have any extra space.”

The planned changes to the Cave, the student-run bar and café in the basement of Evans, are slightly behind schedule, and the space is set to open on Jan. 23 to a limited audience and on Jan. 25 to the general public. 
Changes to the Cave will include access to the Cave from inside Evans, OneCard readers installed on the main doors, energy efficient windows and doors, improved lighting, a larger stage, a bar remodel, new furniture, and new coffee equipment. 

Lee Clark, Director of Student Activities, said, “I would say one of the largest challenges of the remodel was balancing the need to modernize the Cave, while maintaining the venue’s dark, eclectic, and truly Carleton vibe that students have come to love over the years. And at the end of the day, I think we found a happy medium between the two.”

Most of Evans’ new occupants come from the junior class, many of whom spent fall term abroad. 
Gallop said, “It’s fun that so many people in the dorm have been abroad because everyone was so excited to come back.”

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