Graham Lees gets a makeover

First year dorm renovation halfway complete

Emma Deihle

Walk into the newly remodeled Graham-Lees and you may wonder if you’ve just checked in to a top-notch hotel.

Upperclassmen grimace and stare in disbelief when they hear about the new features and may harbor some jealousy that the new amenities weren’t around when they were first year students.

“Even though I loved how unique Graham-Lees was when I lived in it, I am jealous [first years] get to take advantage of all of the new resources,” said Anna Justice, ’16. “I think it will make their experience even better.”

Formerly known for its shabby chic charm, “old Graham-Lees” sported white walls and blue doors, no air conditioning, a common room with a single couch and the occasional lapse in hot water availability. New Graham-Lees could not be more different.


Pale blue colors the walls of the common room on the first floor, which is equipped with a flat screen TV mounted above a working fireplace, leather furniture, an afghan rug and living room lamps. Students who had to make the move to the other half of the dorm found it worthwhile, as the room sizes are bigger and more functional than before.

“The renovations to the common room, bathrooms and heating and air are impressive,” said first year Ben Schaeffer. “The improvements preserved the general design of Graham-Lees while making it a modern dormitory with desirable amenities.”

But the renovations are only half complete. After first year students moved into the new area of the dorm last weekend, construction began on the other side of the building. Administrators estimate the remaining construction will be complete by the end of the academic year.