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Renovations to Winthrop House—including the five-story Beren Hall addition—will be completed ahead of schedule, enabling all residents to move back to the House in August 2017.
Winthrop’s Gore and Standish Halls, built in 1914 to to house freshmen, have been under construction since summer 2016. Beren Hall, named for donor Robert M. Beren ’47, was originally expected to open after the rest of the House.
According to Winthrop House Faculty Dean Stephanie R. Robinson, the early completion of Beren Hall will eliminate the need for overflow housing in the DeWolfe St. apartments and allow all students to live in the House next fall.
“This will be the first time that all of Winthrop House, our entire community, will be under one roof,” Robinson said. “We, personally, are thrilled with that.”
Housing all Winthrop students was a key component of the House’s original renovation plan, according to Steve Needham, Harvard’s senior director of project management.
Gigi M. N. Kisela ’17, an intern for Harvard’s Planning and Project Management Department and Winthrop House resident, became involved with the House’s renovation last summer. She said she is most excited about Beren Hall, the House’s new residential building composed entirely of suites with in-suite bathrooms.
The building will also feature a rooftop terrace, a fitness center, student cafe, two-story grille, and a student lounge called the Lion’s Den, according to Robinson.
Winthrop is the fourth upperclassman House to undergo renovations as part of the Harvard’s ongoing House renewal project and the second to be fully renovated after Dunster House, which reopened in 2015. In total, administrators estimate House Renewal could cost upwards of $1.3 billion, though the early completion of the Winthrop project will save Harvard an estimated $750,000.
Although the Faculty of Arts and Sciences surpassed its $2.5 billion capital campaign goal in June 2016, fundraising for House Renewal has lagged behind other areas. Furthermore, in the wake of low returns on the University’s endowment, House renewal has depleted FAS’s unrestricted reserves to “effectively zero,” FAS Dean Michael D. Smith said in October.
In the past year, University administrators have had to consider new strategies to raise money for the project, including allowing donors to name spaces in the Houses of their choosing and endow faculty deanships.
Lowell House is slated to be renovated next year.
—Staff writer Junina Furigay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @junina_furigay.
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