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Baker Residents Move into Refurbished Dorm

By Zareena Hussain

Futon frames, CD players, and cardboard boxes in tow, Baker residents returned Monday to their newly renovated rooms, as rush workers enjoyed the first opportunity to showcase the fully renovated dormitory to incoming freshmen.

For the most part residents were happy with the changes, which included increased light in the hallways and expanded lounges. “It’s all clean and shiny new,” said Edward R. Miller ’01, a Baker resident helping with dorm rush.

“I like my new room,” said Caroline C. Hon ’01 who began moving in today. “I was really impressed” with the renovations, Hon said, “especially the upper floors.”

Pipe boxes, hinges annoy residents

However, despite overall satisfaction with the renovation among residents, a few have noted some inconveniences.

“The most annoying thing they did is they boxed in the pipes,” said Shannon J. Russell ’01. While aesthetically unpleasant to some, water pipes running along the ceiling and to the sinks in each room provided valuable storage spaces to residents. The pipes are now encased in wood paneling.

“It takes up so much room,” said Jennifer Maurer ’01.

Beyond diminished storage space, residents have also found their new doors a bit annoying.

“The new doors look really nice,” Hon said, “I don’t like how they close though.”

New spring hinges on the doors placed during renovations force them closed in the absence of the doorstops. This in part interferes with Baker’s “open-door policy” where residents leave their room doors open to foster a more social atmosphere in the dormitory.

One Bakerite said many residents would most likely unscrew the “hydraulics” on the doors because of the inconvenience the springs pose. Another resident conjectured that it might take a year before this happened because everything is so new.

Letter promises fines

Another possible deterrent came in a letter addressed to residents in which the Baker Housemanager Ken Winsor and Housemasters William B. Watson and Myra Harrison outlined a set of increased fines for moving furniture into and out of one’s room. According to the letter, residents will incur a $200 per piece service charge if they wish to have any piece of furniture removed from their room. Residents will be fined $500 per piece of furniture removed without the assistance of Baker House staff. The letter did not address the issue of removing springs from the doors.

And while residents remain apprehensive at the prospect of several freshmen choosing the dormitory only because it is newly renovated, the progress of rush has somewhat dispelled those fears.

“A lot of freshmen are still interested in Baker rather than the renovations,” Hon said. “I think the rush chairs are making it very clear that [freshmen] should choose Baker for the community atmosphere rather than the renovation itself,” Hon said.