Morse College Renovations Under Way

 Phil Handler.

With the continued support of generous donors, Morse College became the eleventh residential college to undergo renovation beginning in May 2009. The top-to-bottom refurbishment is slated for completion in August 2010, and Morse students have relocated to the swing space for the academic year.

“The residential college system is vital to the superlative experience offered by Yale College. There is no investment by the University more important than preserving the system and its singular buildings.”
–President Richard C. Levin

Yale’s comprehensive program to renovate its residential colleges was launched in 1996 thanks to a leadership contribution from Anne T. and Robert M. Bass ’71. Berkeley College, opened in 1934 and rededicated in 1998, was the first of the colleges to be renewed, and Yale has renovated the colleges at a rate of one per year ever since. The steady progress of these renovation projects reflects the central place of the residential college system at Yale, as well as the dedication of alumni, parents, and friends.

Ezra Stiles College, the last facility targeted in this renovation program, will be closed for construction during the 2010–2011 academic year.

Renewal and Expansion

Work now under way at Morse is the first major renewal of the college since it opened in 1962. The centerpiece of the project will be a new crescent courtyard addition, completely underground, that will provide a variety of activity rooms, including a fifty-seat theater, music practice rooms, an art studio, a sound studio, digital media rooms, exercise facilities, and spaces for dance and aerobics. The space will be joined to both Morse and neighboring Ezra Stiles College with a below-grade light court, spanned by a pedestrian bridge.

Other planned work at Morse includes an upgrade of all mechanical and electrical facilities, a new roof, new windows, updates to meet fire-safety and handicapped-accessibility codes, and air conditioning of public spaces and the master’s suite. Student rooms, common rooms, the gallery, café, game room, and the buttery will be upgraded. There also will be a major reconfiguration of the kitchen and servery that expands the capacity of the dining halls in both Morse and Stiles.

The architect for the project is KieranTimberlake; the construction manager is Turner Construction Company.

Morse and Stiles, the only two of Yale’s residential colleges built in contemporary style, are located on property purchased with a gift from John Hay Whitney ’26. Construction was funded by a grant from Paul Mellon ’29 and the Old Dominion Foundation.

(October 20, 2009)

October 20, 2009