Worth the wait: France Hall project is complete

Heidelberg’s grand old gal, the historic France Residence Hall, is now grander than ever. The long-awaited $8.5 million restoration and renovation project is officially complete, and it is beautiful. 

The restored France Hall – which includes the addition of an elevator, air conditioning, full accessibility, and annexes that house a two-guest apartment – has been home to hundreds and hundreds of Heidelberg women since it opened back in 1925.  It was important to preserve its heritage and memories yet bring it into the 21st century, said Rod Morrison, associate vice president of Facilities and Engineering.

The next cohort of residential students, 68 in all, will move into France this fall. Heidelberg's four female societies and one mixed gender society will have moved into their new spaces – two on the first floor, three on the fourth floor – by the end of this month. 

Entering the front door, much of the ambiance – the lovely original woodwork and the staircase – remain in place. France Great Hall was renovated and refurnished for use by both France residents and for campus events. The stately parlor also has been refinished and two floor lounges with kitchenettes have been added.

Additional work included: original doors refinished, existing terrazzo refinished, new custom front door installed, new furniture throughout, new modern restrooms, a complete sprinkler system and all new fire safety equipment, the addition of two guest apartments and a new RC apartment.

All that remains to complete is some landscaping work.

Thomas Marker served as the construction management group on the project. This is the company who also oversaw the construction of Saurwein Health & Wellness Center and Adams Hall. The Collaborative (Toledo) served as the design architects.

Funds for the restoration and renovation project came from private donations and Heidelberg’s USDA loan program.

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