Major Renovations Planned for Gelston East

The primary summer 2014 construction project for the Alma campus includes enhancements to the rooms and living spaces in the east wing of Gelston Residence Hall.

Work begins April 21 on major renovations to the east wing of Gelston Hall, Alma College’s oldest residence hall.

“When these renovations are completed, Gelston East will be the most up-to-date residence on campus,” says Dave Buhl, vice president for business affairs. “This will be fabulous living space accommodating 63 beds. Everything will be new.”

East Wing of Gelston HallEast Wing of Gelston Hall

New features include glass study rooms, one on each of the wing’s two floors, at the south end of the wing. A new handicap accessible ramp and entryway will be added to the northeast corner, and a new entry and sidewalk will be constructed on the east side, directly across from the library.

The common bathrooms on both the first and second floors will be enlarged, with privacy shower stalls, heated floors and stone tile walls.

“Even though the bathrooms will still be common bathrooms for the residents on each floor, they will be new, bigger and better, with an upscale look,” says Buhl.

The rooms for residences will be “stripped to the walls,” with new windows and window treatments, lights and modular furniture, including desks, doors, bureaus and beds. All rooms will be water sprinkled for fire prevention, and wi-fi will be enhanced. The hallways also will be new, with drop ceilings, drywall and carpeting.

In addition, the wing’s electrical systems will be upgraded, with more outlets added to each room to accommodate student computer and electrical needs.

Wolgast Corporation was selected as the construction firm for the project, which will be completed in August prior to the start of fall classes.

Constructed in 1955-56, Gelston Hall is named in honor of Mary Gelston, Alma’s first dean of women and a member of the faculty from the college’s opening in 1887 until 1906.


Story published on April 14, 2014
43.380322; -84.673083