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Renovations Return Bishop Hall to Its Beginnings

Renovations Return Bishop Hall to Its Beginnings

Posted: July 16, 2018

Bishop Hall will return to its original identity as a residence hall when it reopens this fall following a year-long, $16 million renovation.

The building will house 204 students in double-occupancy rooms; many of the residents will be enrolled in either the Muriel A. Howard Honors Program or the newer Dean’s Honors Program.

Renovations include new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; architectural improvements; and safety-related enhancements. The exterior received increased glazing and improvements to the connection to the Porter and Neumann halls quad.

“One of the most significant changes to Bishop, which will be a benefit to students, is the construction of 15 private bathrooms,” said Steve Shaffer, director of facilities construction and maintenance. “We also added lots of public space, including a study lounge and laundry room on each floor, a kitchen, a multipurpose gathering space, and an honors classroom that can accommodate 24 students.”

Built as a traditional dormitory in 1958, Bishop was repurposed in the 1970s to house academic department offices and computer labs. 

Due to an increase in demand for student housing, the college decided to convert Bishop to a living space for high-achieving students. It was more cost-effective to renovate Bishop than build a brand-new structure, Shaffer said.

Mach Architecture created the renovations that were paid for through bonding by the New York Dormitory Authority.

While Bishop has been designated as an honors residence hall, not all the students moving in this fall are enrolled in an honors program. This is because some of the returning honors students opted to remain in their current residence halls or apartments, said Amy McMillan, interim director of the Muriel A. Howard Honors Program, while others are commuters.

However, she noted, all the students invited to live in Bishop are academically high-achieving.

“Going forward, we expect to have more honors students choose to live in Bishop," McMillan said. "Now that we have two honors programs, it’s nice to be able to offer a residence hall designated just for them. Bishop will provide a welcoming living/learning environment.” 

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