Roberts Hall, Bucknell University's oldest residence hall, underwent a $13.7 million renovation in summer 2016 to restore some of its original splendor while meeting modern code and comfort standards.
Started in December 2015, the renovation's "revival feel" recovers some of the building's former splendor. The renovation is not a true restoration, but is sympathetic to the historic nature of the building. "It's a balancing act to incorporate restoration, accessibility and sustainability aspects to a renovation," said Dominic Silvers, senior project manager.
Roberts Hall has a new grand entrance, and new doors and windows. "The copper roof was replaced by aluminum powder-coated to look like aged copper — the same material used on Trax Hall, Kress Hall and the recently renovated Carnegie Building," said Silvers.
Roberts Hall features air conditioning, elevator installation and ADA accessibility to most of building, as well as upgraded safety systems, including the fire alarms, sprinkler systems and BUID card access.
The building provides housing for 136 students, primarily sophomores, in two-, three- and four-person suites, each with a private bathroom and shower. The suites feature new furniture, fresh paint, and new drywall and floor finishes. "I love the renovation," said Andrew Antonacci '19. "It feels like like a hotel. The rooms are the perfect size."
"My favorite part of the renovation is the new basement," said Antonacci. "There are rooms where students are able to watch TV and hang out, and there are also a ton of pool tables."
Bucknell is pursuing LEED certification for the renovation, which added sustainable design features including energy-efficient windows, low-flow plumbing and room-occupancy sensors.
A new outdoor study and meeting space with benches and café tables also was created in a 100-year-old grove of trees encircled by Roberts, Trax Hall, Kress Hall and the Carnegie Building.
There are lounges and meeting spaces throughout, and kitchens on floors one, two and three. "The lounges are great for either hanging out with my friends or for doing work," said Antonacci.