This past weekend, an exciting announcement was made to students and faculty alike. It read that starting next month, construction of Johnson Pond House 5 will begin. The statement was sent via an email blast from President David Greene, who praised the construction crews and material contractors for their quick turnaround for such a large project.
It was less than a semester ago that the final of the first four Johnson Pond Houses was completed, greatly increasing the amount of available on-campus housing. However, this was evidently not enough for rising enrollment numbers.
After the release of the Class of 2027’s admission statistics, the College needed a solution to the ever-growing space problem on campus. In the final paragraph of the announcement, Greene also hinted at a potential Johnson Pond 6 and 7, but details of these projects are slim to none.
The location of the new dorm building will be in the middle of Johnson Pond. The placement was carefully chosen for the value of the land on campus. Since the water is flat, it is an optimal place for a large and heavy housing installation. The details of the construction were publicly released on the College’s website, where expansive construction plans and building costs were outlined.
To prevent Johnson Pond 5 from sinking, a large raft will be constructed. The raft is said to be made of reinforced and colorless foam, which is moderately buoyant and relatively safe.
To secure the raft in one position, large chains will be placed under the raft and anchored into the bed of the pond. The chains are made from pure Tungsten, with each link having a radius of over eight inches. All materials for the construction of the raft were sourced from the Waterville Public Pool except for the Tungsten chains which came from the United States Military.
The new dorm will be accessible only by canoe, as most students and faculty are unable to walk on water. Each canoe has a capacity of two people, with one of these seats being taken by Campus Security as a driver. The canoes were sized so that most backpacks and shopping bags can fit inside with the student, however, larger maritime vessels will be provided on move-in and move-out days. These may include small motorboats and decommissioned Coast Guard tactical cruisers.
Canoe ferries will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, and until 5 p.m. on weekends. It may be noted that entrance into Johnson Pond 5 by way other than a canoe ferry may lead to legal consequences.
Construction on Johnson Pond 5 will begin on May 5, the last day of second-semester classes and the start of finals week. The total time of the project is estimated to be about eight months, with a hopeful completion date of January 2024. Several notices were sent across campus, as well as detailed within Greene’s email blast, about the large amounts of noise that will be created by construction.
Work will take place from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. every day, so as not to disrupt the regular schedule of students’ days. It is estimated that the sound of construction will be noticeable over a roughly one-mile radius. Thankfully, the Office of Campus Life was informed that the noise will in no way hinder the sleep or study schedules of students.
In total, the cost of building Johnson Pond House 5 is estimated at $300 million, or about a quarter of the College’s endowment. According to relevant sources, to account for this large cost the price of tuition will increase by approximately $15,000 per student. However, in the grand scheme, this is a small price to pay for such an innovative project.
The composition of the building is fairly simple: there will be three floors with a bathroom and common space on each floor. Each floor will contain nine rooms, consisting of three doubles, three triples, and three quads. This will lead to a total of 27 rooms, with a maximum capacity of 81 students.
Aesthetics for the interior have been carefully selected by a team of Waterville’s finest artistic minds. Popcorn ceilings will be universal, and all floors will be decorated with carpets made from thickly woven lambswool. Common spaces will have no couches; instead, a colorful array of yoga mats will be on hand. The decision to omit furniture for the mats was made to increase the posture and flexibility of students.
As with the other Johnson Pond Houses, air conditioning will be available; however, it will be placed inside shower stalls.
With a concise and transformative plan in motion, the addition of Johnson Pond 5 will be a trademark for future college activities. Thanks to the creative minds of its designers, the new dorm may serve as an archetype for all future infrastructure on campus. With hopes high, it is no surprise that everyone is itching for a spot inside.
~ Mr. Man