SUNY Oneonta to renovate, expand Huntington Hall

Julie Lewis | The Daily Star Huntington Hall at the SUNY Oneonta is shown Thursday.

The State University of New York and the Dormitory Authority of New York on Wednesday announced the start of work to renovate SUNY Oneonta’s Huntington Hall.

The project budget is $20 million, according to a media release by SUNY. The residence hall project is part of more than $70 million in capital renovation projects the Dorm Authority is beginning this summer on SUNY campuses statewide, according to the release. The renovation is being financed through the SUNY Dormitory Facilities Program.

Construction is expected to be completed in July 2020, said Lachlan Squair, chief facilities planning and safety officer at SUNY Oneonta.

"This is a larger program we're embarking on to renovate our housing stock," he said.

He said the interiors are reaching the end of their useful lives, and that heating and electrical systems are beginning to decline and the buildings aren't easy to heat efficiently.

Upgrades include additional bedroom space for approximately 80 students, according to the release. All bedrooms and bathrooms will be renovated with new, contemporary finishes. A 6,000-square-foot, four-story addition, which will include a fitness room, community kitchens, and an elevator, will also be constructed.

A new fire protection system, including a full-coverage sprinkler system, will be installed and an upgraded and high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system will be added, according to the release. All electrical and plumbing systems will be replaced.

The building’s exterior will be fully insulated and fitted with new energy-efficient windows and doors. The entire project will be constructed to LEED-Silver standards under the sustainability and energy-efficiency guidelines of the U.S. Green Building Council, according to the release. 

There will be a washing and drying unit on every floor and individual- and group-study spaces, Squair said. The additional bedroom space will be helpful for a growing student population and to house displaced students if they need to vacate their building for renovations.

Huntington Hall will be unavailable for students to live in until July 2020, eliminating 210 beds from campus, Squair said. This was kept in mind when offers for housing were made, he said. The project has been planned for about 18 months and students have been informed about the project. From focus groups over the years, Lachlan said, there are a lot of features of the project that students are looking forward to and said they are excited to see it completed.

Immediately after the completion of the Huntington Hall project, renovations will begin for a zero-net-carbon-ready retrofit of SUNY Oneonta's Ford Hall. The project will advance Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s statewide clean energy goals of 100% carbon-free energy by 2040, according to a February media release by SUNY. The Ford Hall project is expected to be completed by the start of the fall 2021 semester.

Shweta Karikehalli, staff writer, can be reached at skarikehalli@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_ShwetaK on Twitter.

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