College Takes Innovative Approach to Meet Student Housing Needs

  August 28, 2017

By Naomi Millán

Students returning to campus this year at Goucher College in Maryland might do a double take when they see that two 1950s dorms with 55 beds each have taken a stroll a few hundred yards to new foundations. A third dorm was scheduled to join in the move, but technical difficulties in separating it from its original foundation have delayed the project.

The ambitious project was the idea of Goucher's new facilities director, Terence McCann Jr., who saw that simply tearing down perfectly usable buildings wasn't the most sustainable choice, according to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Moving the three dorms will also be half as expensive as new construction would have been.

As soon as graduation was over on May 15 of this year, work on the site began. Two of the dorms, the Gallagher and Alcock buildings, were moved to their new foundations as of August 23. The space opened up by the move will be the home of First-Year Village, on which construction will start in September of 2017, and open Fall 2018.

It is expected the recycled dorms have at least another 40 or 50 years of service life left, according to the Chronicle article. Features such as clay-tile roofs and exterior stonework, in addition to recent upgrades added to the favorability of moving the buildings instead of demolishing them.

This Quick Read was submitted by Naomi Millán, senior editor, Building Operating Management, For more on innovative housing strategies on college campuses, go to


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