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Rich Hall, Lycoming College’s oldest residential building, was celebrated Wednesday, Aug. 28, during an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony that recognized months of renovations and upgrades.
The ceremony welcomed students, faculty, staff, trustees, members of the construction crews and the public, all of whom were curious to see what had been going on inside the building this summer.
“This is an important day for the college,” said President Kent Trachte, Ph.D. “It marks completion of the first phase of renewing and renovating our historic residential buildings that were constructed between 1948 and 1965.”
Trachte also told the audience that the trustees have approved funding that will allow the college to renovate additional residential buildings during the next two summers. He stressed that the renovations will not cost the students in the form of additional fees.
“I also want to emphasize, particularly to students, that these projects are being financed by leveraging the college’s capacity to borrow,” he said.
The entire renovation project took place in 90 days – a remarkable feat, Trachte said, that was accomplished by everyone working together as a team. He thanked the project’s main contractor, Williamsport’s Lundy Construction, for completing the project several days ahead of schedule. “This required Herculean efforts,” Trachte said of everyone involved in making the renovations a success.
The Georgian-style 36,000 square-foot, all-female residence hall was outfitted with all new plumbing and the traditional steam heat system was replaced with a hot water loop system that features high-efficiency boilers. The 60 rooms are equipped with individual controls, which will provide students with much more consistent heat throughout the building. In addition, the 122 residents will benefit from larger bathrooms with all new fixtures.
Liz Vollman, a senior political science and history major from Cogan Station, spoke during the event on behalf of her fellow Rich Hall residents.
“When I walked into the building on Sunday, I was welcomed by the smell of fresh paint, and the beauty of a brand new facility,” she said. “It is so wonderful to see that through the renovation, we can keep the historic beauty of our past, while improving for our future.
“Our campus is evolving, and the changes that we have made to Lycoming this academic year just go to show that change isn’t always a bad thing. I hope that under President Trachte’s leadership, Lycoming will continue to improve and to expand, so that we can achieve our goal of creating an even better Lycoming.”
Student Senate members Greg Vartan, president, and Megan Cunningham, vice president, held the ribbon that was cut by Trachte and Vollman. After the ribbon-cutting, tours were offered to those in attendance.
Rich Hall opened in 1948 and is named for the Rich family, who founded the Woolrich outdoor clothing company. The family has historic ties to Lycoming and its predecessor institutions with 29 members of the family in some way attending the institution since 1850.
Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit www.lycoming.edu.