College Will Furnish Quincy Common Room During House Renovations

The College will purchase common room furniture with which to furnish all Quincy House suites next fall in order to alleviate the need for summer storage space when the renovation of Old Quincy begins this June, Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds and Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael D. Smith announced Tuesday in a statement on the FAS website.

Each Quincy common room will be equipped with two chairs, two tables, and a sofa or loveseat, FAS spokesperson Jeff Neal wrote in an email to The Crimson.

Although Quincy also has limited storage space in the Adams House Pool Theatre, in the past Quincy residents have stored most of their belongings in a large space in the basement of Old Quincy over the summer.

But when construction begins on Old Quincy in June, this storage space will become unusable.

Although Tuesday’s statement was the first time the news had been announced publicly to the Harvard community, Quincy residents were informed of the plan nearly three months ago.

In a Dec. 8 email to Quincy residents, Quincy House Masters Lee and Deborah J. Gehrke announced that the College will pay for Quincy residents to store some belongings at an off-site storage facility.

Eligible students, who live more than 150 miles from campus, will be limited to a maximum of four boxes of 3.5 to 4 cubic feet and one small piece of furniture, such as a lamp or chair.

Students who wish to store larger common room furniture will be able to store those items with a local storage vendor at a discounted price, Hammonds and Smith wrote in their joint statement.

Quincy residents say there are both positives and negatives to the College’s plan to purchase common furniture.

“It will definitely help people whose parents can’t help them move in and out,” Quincy resident Charlene C. Lee ’14 said.

But until more specifics are announced, Lee says she is withholding judgment.

“Part of [roommate] bonding is decorating our room, so if it’s an ugly couch it might be worse,” she added.

In their Dec. 8 email, the Quincy House Masters wrote that the design of this furniture “is being selected with input from a committee of your peers.”

The new common room furniture will be “tested” in Quincy next academic year, with an eye toward expanding the program for all Houses that will be renovated in future years, the FAS website said.

Quincy is the first of Harvard’s 12 Houses to undergo construction as part of the University’s House Renewal project, which will dramatically revamp undergraduate dormitories.

As part of the renovations, Old Quincy’s current storage space will be remodeled to include social spaces, music practice rooms, and a classroom.

When Old Quincy reopens in the fall of 2013, the new suites in the renovated space will also be outfitted with the common room furniture.

“I think it’s good that they are going to be providing furniture. I don’t necessarily like the fact that we won’t have storage space in the future as we did in the past,” Quincy resident Maria K. C. O’Bryne ’14 said. “It’s going to be difficult for people who already have furniture and don’t live nearby.”

Currently, Harvard College provides a bed, desk, bureau, and bookcase to all undergraduates living on campus. Under the existing system, students are expected to purchase their own common room furniture.

—Staff writer Nathalie R. Miraval can be reached at nmiraval@college.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Rebecca D. Robbins can be reached at rrobbins@college.harvard.edu.

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