The front entrance of the former Minor Theater.
The front entrance of the former Minor Theater.

Fifty-two Hamilton students will have a new home on the Hill when they return for the fall 2015 semester. Conversion of the former Minor Theater to a residence hall is a bit ahead of schedule, with completion expected in mid-July and move-in around Aug. 1, according to project manager Senior Associate Director of Physical Plant Frank Marsicane.  When remodeling is finished the building will house 52 students in 10 suites on three floors.

As of mid-March, interior renovation is in full swing with work proceeding from the ground floor up.  Walls are painted, kitchen hook-ups are in, bathrooms and their fixtures  are installed and permanent stairs are in place.  A new hallway connects the old building to the new addition. Marsicane said that later in March the permanent heating system will be complete and then Flooring, kitchen cabinets and trimwork will be able to be installed and finished.

The renovated building will consist of suites with double and single rooms. Each suite has a bathroom, kitchen and common area. A laundry facility and recycling room is on the ground floor and a large lounge is on the first floor. The second floor will include a suite for the resident advisor, and the third floor will have a storage room for residents’ belongings and mechanical space.

Marsicane said the old windows of Minor Theater were saved and just the window sashes will be replaced. The old balcony of the theater was removed “which left us wide open, so we added another floor,” he explained.  HR Beebe Construction of Utica is the general contractor and up to 20 people have been working at any given time during the construction. Marsicane said he’s hopeful that the site can be graded next week once the ground dries and refacing of the building’s brownstone can begin.

For 53 years until 2014 Minor Theater was home to countless theatre department productions. With the opening of The Kevin and Karen Kennedy Center for Theatre and the Studio Arts in fall 2014, the Theatre Department and productions moved to the new space. The college then began remodeling Minor Theater into student housing.

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