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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Grad sprinkler installation to begin this summer

Published: October 5, 2007
Section: News

Renovations to the sprinkler systems in the Charles River Apartments will begin this summer in an effort to keep up with fire codesm, according to Vice-President of Campus Operations Mark Collins.

Everything is very preliminary, explained Collins, I cant tell if its one, two, or three buildings. He continued, People recognize that Charles River needs work. The best time is the same time were installing sprinklers we will try to get two buildings done this summer. Collins explained, The scope of the renovations is not defined. Its dictated by dollars. Student Union President Shreeya Sinha 09 agreed, It all depends on funding, she said.

In the past, weve taken a residence hall in Massell or North to renovate, said Collins. However, renovations in the Charles River apartments would preclude any in either of the first-year quads Collins explained.

As for the time frame, Collins remarked, Id like to think sooner than four yearsneeds and costs will determine the time line. Additionally, Its more economical to do the building at oncedo [kitchen and bathroom] replacements while youre in there, Collins explained. He added, just because the time is right doesnt mean we can afford to do it all at once.

The main priorities for the renovations, aside for the necessary sprinkler installations, include kitchens, bathrooms, paint, and carpeting Collins stated. Its a tremendous amount of work, he said, theres not even 10 weeks to begin and end the job. Collins continued, everything in Charles River is concrete and cinder block, its a tough installation.

Collins explained that Charles River will not be torn down. Theres not a lot of surge space at Brandeis, he said, residence hall space is in high demand. He continued, You cant just raze a building and forget about it. Were strapped because of the Ridgewood loss.

Charles River quad senator Rachel Graham Kagan 09 wrote in an email, Charles River Quad is desperately in need of renovations, and if the administration could start them this summer all the better. Kagan added, The rooms and suites themselves are great, the only problems are facilities issues that would be solved by a thorough overhaul.

The sprinklers are a definite yes its a fire hazard, Charles River Community Advisor Yael Kreitman 08 commented. As for the rest of the possible renovations Kreitman said, Its great. It will improve Grads reputation. Its great to see them renovating. It shows that they care. She added, [Charles River is] ok now but it could be so much better. Theres always room for improvement.

Cosmetically, it could definitely afford to be updated, said Charles River resident Leah Boudreau 09. I dont feel like my room is in bad condition.

Boudreau continued, its not like ahome dcor magazine. Boudreau did believe that certain improvements should be made. The kitchen is outdated and pretty rough around the edges. It could definitely afford new appliancesthe wall is crumbling in the bathroom here. The tile floor is falling apart, said Boudreau. As for next year, she remarked, Itd be great to have a nice renovated new room.

Sophomore opinion varied. Rachael Lavi 10 said, Itll be better to live in if they do renovations as long as we have housing because we have limited options as juniors, she said.

Brian Melcher 10 felt more strongly. I think Grad is a piece of crap, he remarked, they should tear it all down if theyre going to spend money renovating.