The dorm known as Happy Valley was already one of the more popular residence halls on campus, with its central location, wood floors, big windows, and a large common room (pictured). But it just became more sought after, thanks to a major upgrade this spring largely funded by an anonymous donor. In a matter of only eight weeks, from snowy March to glorious May, the dorm was entirely gutted and rebuilt with quality and energy-saving materials.
With guidance from Centerline Architects, based in Bennington, Vermont, and general contractor Courtlan Construction, the building received all new electrical wiring, plumbing, sprinker system, windows, and energy-efficient lighting. The layered walls and roof include dense pack cellulose and rigid foam insulation for a total R-value of more than 40 in the walls and more than 63 in the roof. The dorm also features a new handicapped-accessible bathroom, bedroom, and building access.
Happy Valley’s warm cedar siding, low-profile, standing-seam metal roof, and common room with giant windows have all the appearance of a cozy ski chalet in the Alps. One of the smallest dorms on campus, housing approximately 15 students, the new face of Happy Valley now looms large in the college’s efforts to improve the energy efficiency.