Renovations to Winthrop House, including the five-storey addition to Beren Hall, will be completed ahead of schedule, allowing all residents to return to the house in August 2017.
Winthrop’s Gore and Standish Halls, built in 1914 to house freshmen, have been under construction since the summer of 2016. Beren Hall, named for donor Robert M. Beren ’47, was originally scheduled to open after the rest of the House.
According to Winthrop House faculty dean Stephanie R. Robinson, the rapid completion of Beren Hall will eliminate the need for additional 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 delighted with this.”
Housing all Winthrop students was a key part of the home’s original renovation plan, according to Steve Needham, senior director of project management at Harvard.
Gigi MN Kisela ’17, an intern in Harvard’s Department of Planning and Project Management and a resident of Winthrop House, got involved in renovating the house last summer. She said she was very excited about Beren Hall, the House’s new residential building made up entirely of suites with en-suite bathrooms.
The building will also include a rooftop terrace, a fitness center, a student cafe, a two-story grid and a student lounge called Lion’s Den, according to Robinson.
Winthrop is the fourth upper-class home to undergo renovations as part of Harvard’s ongoing home renewal project and the second to be fully renovated after Dunster House, which reopened in 2015. In total, trustees estimate that renewing the house could cost more than $1.3 billion, although the early completion of the Winthrop project will save Harvard about $750,000.
Although the Faculty of Arts and Sciences surpassed its fundraising goal of $2.5 billion in June 2016, fundraising for house renewals has lagged behind other areas. Moreover, as a result of poor returns from the University’s endowment, the house renewal has depleted the FAS’s unlimited reserves to “effectively zero,” FAS Dean Michael D. Smith said in October.
Over the past year, university administrators have had to consider new strategies to raise funds for the project, including allowing donors to nominate spaces in homes of their choosing and endowing faculty deans.
Lowell House is due for renovation next year.
—Editor Junina Furigay can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @junina_furigay.