The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Monday April 15th

TCNJ weighing replacement vs. renovation of Travers and Wolfe halls, among other ideas

<p>If the public-private partnership plan is approved, Travers and Wolfe Halls will close upon the new complex’s opening.<em> (Photo by Brooke Zevon / Staff Photographer)</em></p>

If the public-private partnership plan is approved, Travers and Wolfe Halls will close upon the new complex’s opening. (Photo by Brooke Zevon / Staff Photographer)

By Tristan Weisenbach and Matthew Kaufman
Managing Editors

The College is considering several options to revitalize housing, including a potential public-private partnership or a renovation of Travers and Wolfe halls. The administration could present a plan to the Board of Trustees for approval by the end of the year, according to Dave Muha, associate vice president for communications, marketing and brand management.

The public-private option would be built at the current site of the community garden, and could be completed and opened by fall 2027 if approved, according to Sharon Blanton, vice president of operations.

Blanton said the new development would likely consist of four connected, strictly residential buildings. The mostly apartment-style housing would be available to third and fourth-year students and add a total of about 600 beds if approved. 

The College completed an RFP, or request for proposal, and has since selected a vendor to continue developing the plan. In a public-private partnership, like the model set by Campus Town, the College leases land to a private developer to construct and manage properties. 

Blanton said the College has been in talks with the vendor for the past few months and is still finalizing “what makes the most sense for the institution long-term.” Head Media Relations Officer Luke Sacks said the College is unable to provide the name of the vendor at this time.

If the public-private partnership plan is approved, Travers and Wolfe Halls will close upon the new complex’s opening. Based on a budget summary projection presented by Interim President Michael Bernstein to the faculty senate in December, taking the towers “off line” would cost the College approximately $6.5 million in FY2027 and FY2028, as the institution would not receive direct housing income from the public-private partnership that would replace them.

However, it is still unclear if and when the Towers will be demolished, Blanton said.

The connection between Travers and Wolfe, known as “the link,” houses many underground linkages for campus-wide infrastructure systems, such as HVAC, steam and water, making it difficult to demolish the buildings without causing major disruptions. 

“The link, in some format, would basically always have to be there,” Blanton said. 

Another option would be renovating the towers, according to Muha, which would allow the College to continue generating revenue from them. 

The administration is in the process of determining how much renovating the towers would cost, Muha said. He added there are other housing options being considered, however he declined to share them. 

Blanton said the College's administration would be ready to provide a formal recommendation of the vendor's housing plan to the Board of Trustees by the end of June. However, Muha said a more accurate timeline for approval is by the end of 2024. 

Editor’s Note: The original version of this story was based on a Feb. 29 interview with Blanton and Maggie Greco, the campus architect. In this interview, Blanton shared the plan of the public-private partnership but did not mention any other options the College was considering. In a later interview on March 8, Muha and Sacks shared additional information regarding the potential renovation of Travers and Wolfe halls, and the fact that there are more options being considered. This story has been updated to include the new information.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated the vendor would present the proposed housing plan to the Board of Trustees. The College's administration will present the plan to the Board of Trustees.




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