Q and A: Gilman Demolition and Dana Renovation

What is the project schedule?

Work to demolish Gilman, the former home of the biological sciences department, is being organized in phases. The Dana renovation schedule is still in development. Design work will be ongoing through the spring, and renovation will follow. Here is the Gilman schedule:

  • September, 2017 through January, 2018: Prepare construction site, conduct interior abatement
  • February: Perform exterior abatement
  • March - April: Demolish the building structure and foundation, and remove materials
  • May: Backfill basement hole and grade the site

What happens during the interior demolition and abatement of Gilman?

The work involves stripping the building’s interior down to the structural concrete. Lighting and plumbing fixtures, pipes, ductwork, etc., will be removed. The work also includes removing asbestos from columns and floor slabs.

What happens during the exterior abatement?

Workers will remove caulking around exterior doors and windows (the caulking contains PCBs—polychlorinated biphenyls, which are manmade chemicals that are no longer used in construction). In addition, asbestos contained in the waterproof coating around the foundation and nonstructural concrete walls will be removed.

What safety protocols will be put in place to ensure appropriate containment and disposal of hazardous materials?

Dartmouth’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety will work with the project manager and the contractor to ensure that all hazardous materials are removed and disposed of in a controlled manner, in accordance with state and federal regulations.

How will Gilman be taken down?

The demolition will be similar to the recent removal of the original West Stands seating at Memorial Field. Heavy equipment will be used to dismantle the building piece by piece. Several times a day, pieces will be placed on trailers and trucked out of the site. 

Will the Electron Microscope Facility, located in the connector between Remsen and Gilman, be affected by the work?

The facility will remain in its current location during and after the demolition of Gilman. Care will be taken to prevent disruption to the facility.

How will pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic be affected during the demolition and construction?

Pedestrians will be directed to use sidewalks along College Street to travel between the central campus and the Life Sciences Center and the Geisel School of Medicine. The one-way road between the McLaughlin Cluster and Gilman will be closed from September 2017 through completion of the project, in the fall of 2019. A driveway will be open on the east side of the Maynard parking lot and will be used to access nine parking spaces located north of Thompson Hall. These spaces are a combination of restricted spaces and handicap-accessibility spaces.

Where will handicap parking spaces be available?

There will continue to be several spaces in the roundabout entrance to Geisel, behind Vail/Remsen, and in the small lot north of Thomas Hall in the McLaughlin Cluster.

Are there plans to construct another building on land where Gilman is now?

There are no plans to erect another building in this space. The space left after Gilman’s demolition will be landscaped in coordination with the Dana renovation.

How will Dana be used after the renovation?

The renovated structure will house faculty offices, reading and study areas, and a graduate student lounge. Design work is just beginning, and decisions have yet to be made on building and landscaping details. Dana, along with Gilman, was built in 1963. Dana has been closed since 2012; Gilman was closed in 2010. Dana was home to the biomedical library, which has moved to 37 Dewey Field Road.

How will residents who live and work in the area be affected by the work?

Employees who work in nearby buildings, students who live in nearby residence halls, and residential neighbors can expect the following:

  • Demolition and construction work hours will be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with loud work limited to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Construction vehicles will enter and exit the site throughout the construction period. During the demolition phase, tractor-trailers will remove building materials and exit the site, heading north on College Street, and then south on North Park Street to get to Interstate-89 in Lebanon. It is expected that there will be from three to five trucks traveling to and from the site on most days, with a maximum of 10 trucks on busy days.

What approvals are needed for the project?

Dartmouth will seek site plan approval from the town of Hanover’s planning board for the Dana renovation. Internally, for projects of this magnitude, the College requires approval in phases from the board of trustees. The trustee approval timetable is:

  • September 2017: Approval to proceed with exterior abatement and demolition
  • November 2017: Approval for the completion of the design phase for Dana renovation
  • June 2018: Approval for construction and renovation of Dana

Why did the College decide to demolish Gilman?

Gilman is structurally sound, but has significant deferred maintenance. Over the past several years, College administrators have considered various options to renovate and repurpose the facility. The result of the most recent study concluded that the building isn’t suitable for academic, research, or administrative purposes.