Updates on the Renovation of Drayer Hall


Drayer Hall, the largest first-year dormitory on campus, has been under renovation since Commencement in May 2022. Many students have been wondering about the progress of the renovation and its widespread effects. According to the Dickinson Chronicle, Drayer Hall began construction in 1950 and was intended to be an all women’s dormitory. When the building was completed in 1952, it was the first time women could live on the main campus of Dickinson College.

Drayer is on track to open up again in fall 2023, said  Angie Harris, Associate Vice President of Residence Life. This is a slight departure from August 2023 which was previously reported in an email to students from George Stroud, Vice President and Dean of Student Life. Stroud  promised that the impact on housing would remain at a minimum, saying “we anticipate adding additional beds, including apartment-style housing, for upper-level students to accommodate for this shift.”

The renovations include “Internal systems [which] are being updated and community baths are being converted to single user baths,” said Harris, “ in addition, there will be new furniture and finishes throughout the building.” The changes include upgraded HVAC, electrical, fire alarm, data, fire protection systems, installing a new elevator and waterproofing the extension of Central Energy Plant piping from Malcom Hall.

Harris said that the college was prepared for the new shortage of housing for the upcoming 2022 – 2023 year. “Fortunately, the plan to renovate Drayer gave us time to properly plan for housing while the building is offline. Our colleagues in Finance & Administration were able to secure additional leases to apartments to make up the needed difference.”

Although Harris claims the Office of Residential Life was well prepared for the limited housing due to the closing of Drayer, some students wonder if this is truly the case, as many were left unhoused until much later in the summer. Liam Walters ’25 was left without a rooming assignment for most of the summer. He said that “[Residence Life]  did not help at all,” and that he and his roommate had to do most of the communicating with their office to express the need for a room. Despite this, Walters did not know where he would live this year until the beginning of August. His roommate,  Steven Murray ’25, expressed his belief that the housing shortage was related to the Drayer renovation, saying “I think they kinda screwed over the kids who didn’t know who they were rooming with.”