Mary Lyon, Only Better

January, 2006

Students moving into Mary Lyon Hall for fall 2007 will find a new and improved kitchen area, new windows, renovated bathrooms and laundry facilities, a new elevator and easier access to the back of the dormitory for unloading luggage during move-in day.

The major renovation, slated to begin in May, will also produce a number of less visible changes, including new energy-efficient lighting, new heating and cooling systems, and new data and telephone wiring. Mike Horton, manager of facilities information systems at PSU, says the project “will bring this very special campus landmark up to contemporary standards in terms of its safety, infrastructure and building systems.”

The dormitory, built in 1916, is one of the oldest and most well-known buildings on campus. It was named for Mary Lyon, the founder of Mount Holyoke College and a pioneer of higher education for women. In its early days, the dormitory included a campus kitchen, gymnasium, bowling alley and housing for 260 women.

Today, 245 men and women live in the picturesque residence hall. The renovation project will maintain the dormitory’s stately elegance, while modernizing its inner and outer structures. A notable goal of the project is to make the building accessible to people with disabilities: an elevator will be added, and the west entrance of the building will be reconstructed for accessibility.

Additional improvements include:

  • New plumbing system, including bathroom reconstructions and sprinkler systems
  • Energy-efficient windows
  • New heating and ventilation systems
  • Renovated electrical systems
  • New energy-efficient roof
  • Upgraded fire alarm and control systems.

The renovation will be engineered by RFS Engineering of Laconia. Architectural work is being done by Lavallee/Brensinger of Manchester, while Pizzagalli Construction Company of Burlington, Vt., will manage the construction.——Kristin Proulx Jarvis

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