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Students will soon move into a vastly improved Kirby House following a $4 million renovation project that began last May and is wrapping up in the next few days.

The work was part of an ongoing goal to bring all residence halls, where feasible, to the standard of Keefe Hall. Renovations included installation of air conditioning, data cables, electrical wiring, and new windows; renovation of bathrooms and interior finishes, including walls, ceilings, and floors; installation of a sprinkler system; an upgrade of laundry facilities; and reconstruction of the clock tower’s decorative railing. A large room on the third floor that in recent years has served as quarters for four students or the school yearbook office has been reclaimed as a lounge.

The project brought the residence hall on-line with the new Ethernet computer network, enabling data transmission at vastly higher speeds, and increased the power levels available in student rooms. Countertops were placed in the first-floor library and third-floor TV lounge that include outlets for computer use.

“In most areas, we made renovations to compliment the original character of the building,” says William Stank, assistant director and architect of plant operations. While Kirby House retains what he describes as its “very traditional” Georgian style, its interior has a brighter, more contemporary look. It has capacity for 69 students plus a faculty/staff apartment.

“We didn’t want to change or dilute the character of the building,” adds Annette Diorio, director of student residence, “but we wanted to bring the latest technological advancements and give students more user friendly gathering spaces. We’ve kept the feel of what Kirby House always was designed to be: an all-male building with a strong, distinct character.”

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