:: Thursday, March 30, 2006 ::
Mixing And Matching
If you're writing a news story about re-arranging the Six-Pack, which are university-owned dorms, why would you include a picture of a room from Bromley Hall, which is privately-owned?
Also, while I'm at it:
It's Deja-vu All Over Again!
Those of you who were around last year might remember another news story about switching up the Six-Pack (which I blogged about back then). Apparently, no progress has been made over the past twelve months, since Housing is still just talking about doing it and not actually doing anything besides changing architects/consultants.
So...much ado about nothing? Not quite, since it looks like the plan's been fiddled with.
From the newer story, it looks like the communal areas will be moved in with the huge combined cafeteria building that will be replacing the mostly-abandoned Illini Orange. This implies that the cafeteria buildings for both Peabody and Gregory drive residence halls will be completely demolished, basements and all, presumably to make the larger interior quad mentioned in the older article. As I noted last year, the Pebody Drive residence halls sit a few feet above the Gregory Drive halls, which would make this proposed quad have one of the steepest slopes on campus outside of the Bardeen Quad or the Arboretum.
What baffles me the most about this current incarnation of the plans is that the new dorm to be added to the Six-Pack is now going to be built between Garner Hall and Gregory Drive, rather than in the open field at the corner of First and Peabody. Not only will this kill the symmetry of the Six-Pack (as though anyone who lives there cares about such things...) but will make the corner of Gregory and Euclid an extremely crowded area.
In order to picture this, a map would be useful. See the two buildings marked "Peabody" and "Gregory?" Those are the two cafeterias that will be removed. They'll be replaced by a larger, two-story building at the site where the Illini Orange currently is. As far as I can tell, this new building will be no smaller than the old cafeterias and will likely be much larger. The staff for the new cafeteria building will have to park someplace, and the nearest logical spot would be parking lot E-10. But wait! Under the current plan, which places the new dorm between Garner Hall and Gregory Drive, the E-10 parking lot will necessarily be reduced in size, if not eliminated outright. This also leaves the new dorm without any parking of its own. Where is everyone going to park?
Next, one needs to take into acount the multiple years of mess this project will cause at one site, since there's no way the project'll finish on time. The IMPE renovations should've been finishing up this semester, as opposed to just starting, so I personally have no expectations of this project getting done without delays.
The old location for the new dorm placed it on the opposite corner of the Six-Pack with plenty of room around it. A lot of the problems I just outlined don't exist for that location, and it's not like the field there gets used for anything that the new quad wouldn't suffice for. Why the university seems to be bent on doing things the hard way instead is beyond me.
:: The Squire 2:24 AM :: email this post :: ::