Binford set to reopen next fall


This is a floor plan for the new renovations of Binford Hall. These are the plans of the first floor./Photo Courtesy of Guilford College Marketing

With construction being done across campus, Guilford will look different next year.

Recently, Guilford has undertaken renovation projects on several of its buildings. This year, first-year dormitory Binford Hall underwent its restoration process.

According to Vice President of Administration and Finance Len Sippel, the decision to renovate certain buildings are based on several factors, including what kind of maintenance a building needs.

“We categorize all of our buildings based on what kind of deferred maintenance and things that need to be done to it,” said Sippel. “So we try to always work on the ones that have the most deferred maintenance.”

The Binford Hall renovation resulted in more students living in the East Apartments this year, which Guilford recently purchased.

“It has allowed us to have what they call ‘swing space,’” said Susanna Westberg, director of residential education and housing. “When Binford went offline, we were able to shift the population and use that building for any potential overage.”

The Binford Hall renovation is currently on schedule, with the dorm set to reopen in fall 2018.

“We’ve had pretty much good news all the time so far,” said Sippel. “We didn’t hit anything that we hadn’t really expected.”

The project has a budget of $8 million, with $6 million being used for renovations inside the building and the remaining $2 million for the addition of an outdoor atrium. That budget includes funding for architecture, landscaping, furniture and all other needs.

“At budget time, we put it all together and take a look at, ‘What are the things we need to be doing construction-wise?’” said Sippel. “We decided we really wanted to do some pretty significant upgrades to them, as well as some restoration.”

A focus of the project has been saving as much money as possible by performing restorations rather than full-scale renovations.

“All of the new work is restoration, not renovation, so they try to use as many materials original to the building as possible,” said Curtis Arena, housing operations coordinator.

The restoration also involves maintaining the original look of the building.

“Their focus is on preserving some of the original characteristics of the buildings and also preserving high quality and valuable materials,” said Westberg. “And the purpose for that is preservation, but also sustainability.”

Much of the Binford Hall renovation has involved adding elevators to the dorm and updating the bathrooms and the furniture in the bedrooms based on past student requests.

Another focus has been improving the technology and accessibility of the dorm.

“(We’re focusing on) accessibility with things like reconfigured bathrooms and the elevator, technology with better Wi-Fi and common areas that have more technological capabilities,” said Westberg.

A large portion of the project has also centered around constructing an outside atrium called The Orangery.

“The Orangery is the outside structure that is being constructed now between Binford, Mary Hobbs and Shore,” said Westberg. “It’s intended to be an open, high technology, commonly used space for the community.”

Arena also believes that the atrium will provide a community space.

“It’s going to be a space for Binford Hall and the community. It’s a multipurpose room,” said Arena. “I think it’ll look great and very much in line with the architecture of campus.”

Milner Hall is in the planning stages of its renovation and will be under construction during the 2018-19 academic year. After that, Bryan Hall will undergo its renovation. Guilford is also currently working on an addition to Hege-Cox Hall, as well as renovating locker rooms in the Ragan-Brown Field House.