Dorchester Hall Renovation

Resident Life and Residential Facilities are excited to announce the next phase in our On-Campus Housing Strategic Plan; the renovation of Dorchester Hall!

Dorchester Hall Renovation Image
Planned Updates
  • New study lounges on the second and third floors
  • First-floor lobby study room
  • Ground-level study room
  • New floor lounges on the ground-level and first-floor
  • New furnishings in the building’s seminar room and living room areas
  • Enlarged, renovated community bathrooms with all-new fixtures and additional privacy
  • Single-use restrooms on residential floors


  • New, enlarged community kitchen on the ground-level
  • Upgrades to the heating, cooling, and ventilation systems; including new ducted outside air distribution system to reduce humidity and increase resident comfort
  • New windows
  • New plumbing
  • Energy-efficient lighting
  • Water-bottle filling stations on each floor
  • Renovated laundry room

Timeline

Dorchester Hall is home to 168 Maryland undergraduate students and the Global Communities Living-Learning program.

The Global Communities program will move temporarily to Elkton Hall for the 2017-2018 academic year in preparation for the renovation project.

Dorchester Hall will be open for Fall 2017 but will close immediately after the final exam period. The renovation will take place in the Spring and Summer of 2018, and Dorchester Hall is scheduled to re-open for the Fall 2018 semester.

Frequently Asked Questions
As a Fall 2017 Dorchester resident, am I guaranteed Spring 2018 on-campus housing?

Any current Dorchester resident who wants to live in the residence halls for Spring 2018 semester will be given a new room assignment prior to the start of Spring semester classes. Residents must submit a Spring Reassignment Request form to indicate their preferences. Spring Reassignment Request forms will be available online at reslife.umd.edu beginning on October 30, and must be submitted no later than 4:00 pm on November 10.

What are my housing options for the Spring 2018 semester?

Current Dorchester residents have several different housing options for Spring 2018 semester.

  1. Cancellation of On-Campus Housing for Spring
    Any current Dorchester resident who wishes to cancel their on-campus housing for Spring semester will have their request automatically approved. Students who wish to cancel their housing must submit the online Petition for Release form. The Spring Petition for Release will be available starting November 1, and must be submitted no later than December 1, 2017.
  2. Spring Semester Reassignment Request
    Any current Dorchester resident can submit a Spring Reassignment Request form to indicate their request for Spring housing and to identify their housing preferences. The Spring Reassignment Request form will be available online at reslife.umd.edu beginning October 30, and must be submitted by 4:00pm on November 10. Residents must move their belongings home for the Winter Break and will be notified of their new on-campus room assignment before the start of the Spring 2018 semester. Spring room assignments will be made based upon vacancies that occur due to on-campus residents cancelling their on-campus housing at the end of the fall semester. Available vacancies for spring generally occur throughout all the on-campus residence halls.
  3. Mid-Year Re-leasing at South Campus Commons and The Courtyards
    South Campus Commons and The Courtyards are the University of Maryland’s public-private partnership undergraduate student apartment communities. The Courtyards and South Campus Commons were built on University land and are managed by a private management company, Capstone On-Campus Management. Students living in these communities sign leases with Capstone On-Campus Management, rather than Housing Agreements with the Department of Resident Life.

Often times, current South Campus Commons and Courtyards residents will look to transfer their lease to another student at the mid-year due to graduation, study abroad or other reasons for which they will be away from campus. Thus, on-campus residents have the ability to participate in the re-leasing process and move to South Campus Commons or The Courtyards for the Spring semester. Information about the re-leasing process can be found online at:

Any student interested in leasing at South Campus Commons or the Courtyards must fill out a no-obligation leasing application.

If you have additional questions about the re-leasing process, please contact the respective leasing office at the phone numbers listed below:

  • South Campus Commons Leasing Office: (301) 226-8001
  • The Courtyards Leasing Office: (301) 314-2466

Where will I live in the Spring? Can I choose where I am going to live?

Residents who will be moving to a new assignment for the spring semester will indicate their preferences on the Spring Reassignment Request form. This form will allow residents to rank order the building locations they are most interested in as well as indicate the room types they prefer. All spring reassignments are made based on the spaces that are available through housing cancellations by those who are not returning after the fall semester. Resident Life will try to honor all preferences identified by residents, however, we may not be able to meet all of them due to space availability. All Dorchester residents who request a new housing assignment for spring semester will receive a new housing assignment.

Will I be able to live with my current roommate?

Residents who will be moving to a new assignment for the spring semester will indicate their preferences on the Spring Reassignment Request form. This form will allow residents to create a roommate pair or group to request to move together. Only one Spring Reassignment Request form should be submitted on behalf of the roommate pair or group. All spring reassignments are made based on the spaces that are available through housing cancellations by those who are not returning after the fall semester. Resident Life will try to honor all preferences identified by residents, however, we may not be able to meet all of them due to space availability. If Resident Life is not able to move the pair or group together, we will contact residents to discuss alternative options. All Dorchester residents who request a new housing assignment for spring semester will receive a new housing assignment.

What do I do if I need housing during the Winter Break period?

Dorchester residents must move out completely by 7pm on December 19 due to the start of the construction and renovation project, so Winter Break housing will not be available in Dorchester Hall. Any current Dorchester resident who might need to live on-campus during the Winter Break should participate in Room Exchange, Resident Life's mid-semester reassignment process, and move to an on-campus room assignment that can provide Winter Break housing. Room Exchange will take place from September 12 through October 26. Students who live in the North Hill, South Hill or Leonardtown Communities or in Elkton Hall on the North Campus can register online to stay in their room (for a fee) during the Winter Break period. Dorchester residents who participate in Room Exchange and move mid-semester would then stay in their new assignment for the remainder of the academic year. Additional information may be found on the Room Exchange website. If you have additional questions about Room Exchange or Winter Break on-campus housing options, please contact the Department of Resident Life Assignments Office at (301) 314-2100 or reslife@umd.edu.

What can I do if I want to move out of Dorchester Hall before December?

Any Dorchester resident who wishes to request a room change during the Fall semester can participate in Room Exchange, Resident Life's mid-semester reassignment process. Room Exchange takes place online, in real-time. In Room Exchange, Dorchester residents have the option to select from individual vacancies or to move with a friend into a space with two vacancies. This semester, Room Exchange will take place from September 12 through October 26. Additional information may be found on the Room Exchange website Dorchester residents who participate in Room Exchange and move mid-semester would then stay in their new assignment for the remainder of the academic year.

If I want to cancel my on-campus housing for Spring 2018 semester, what do I need to do?

Any current Dorchester resident who wishes to cancel their on-campus housing for Spring semester will have their request automatically approved. Students who wish to cancel their housing must submit the online Petition for Release form. The Spring Petition for Release will be available starting November 1, and must be submitted no later than December 1, 2017.

What do I need to know if I want to live in South Campus Commons or The Courtyards for the Spring 2018 semester?

In order to live in South Campus Commons or the Courtyards for Spring 2018 semester, current UMD students must re-lease from a current lease holder. To find students who want to transfer their lease and to learn more about the re-leasing process, visit the community websites:


Any student interested in leasing at South Campus Commons or the Courtyards must fill out a no-obligation leasing application.

If you have additional questions about the re-leasing process, please contact the respective leasing office at the phone numbers listed below:

  • South Campus Commons Leasing Office: (301) 226-8001
  • The Courtyards Leasing Office: (301) 314-2466

Who will live in Dorchester Hall for the Fall 2017 semester?

Rooms in Dorchester Hall are ideal for any student who knows they will not need on-campus housing after the end of the Fall 2017 semester. Any student assigned to Dorchester Hall for the Fall 2017 who submits a petition for release from their on-campus housing agreement by the November 1, 2017 deadline will have their petition approved automatically since Dorchester Hall will close on December 19, 2017.

When will Dorchester Hall close?

Dorchester Hall will close immediately after the Fall 2017 final exams period. Fall 2017 residents will be expected to completely move out of Dorchester Hall within 24 hours of their last Fall final exam and by no later than 7pm on Tuesday, December 19, 2017. We will not be able to allow for any late departures due to the required renovation start date and time. Fall 2017 residents should prepare well in advance so they can pack belongings and move out by December 19th.

What will Dorchester residents need to do at the end of the Fall 2017 semester?

Dorchester Hall will close at the end of the Fall 2017 semester and the renovation will begin immediately following the final exam period. Students living in Dorchester should plan to move completely out of Dorchester Hall by no later than 7pm on December 19, 2017. Any Dorchester residents who require Spring 2018 housing must move their belongings home with them for the Winter Break. Displaced residents will be given priority for new room assignments for the Spring 2018 semester and will be able to move into their Spring room assignments on Sunday, January 21, 2018.

What are the plans for the Global Communities Program while Dorchester is closed?

The Global Communities Living-Learning Program will re-locate temporarily to Elkton Hall starting in the Fall 2017 semester and will remain in Elkton Hall for the 2017-2018 academic year. Global Communities participants will be assigned to floors 2 and 3 in Elkton Hall and Global Communities staff will have temporary office space in the Elkton Hall lobby. Upon completion of the renovation project, the Global Communities program is currently scheduled to return to Dorchester Hall starting in the Fall 2018 semester.

What will happen when the building closes on December 19, 2017?

As soon as the building closes and students move out on December 19, staff from the Department of Residential Facilities will begin the process of removing and storing furnishings and other items such as doors, locks, and other materials in preparation for the construction team to begin renovation. Many items currently in use in the building, such as bedroom furnishings and room doors, will be stored during construction and then re-used. Once the facilities teams complete the removal and storage phase, the construction team will install a construction fence around the building and will begin the demolition phase of the renovation project.

What will residents from Anne Arundel and St. Mary’s Halls do for laundry services while Dorchester Hall is closed?

Dorchester Hall includes a laundry room that serves Anne Arundel, Dorchester, and St. Mary’s Halls. In preparation for the closing of Dorchester Hall, the Department of Residential Facilities is making modifications to the laundry room in Queen Anne’s Hall. These modifications will include adding more washers and dryers and allowing Anne Arundel and St. Mary’s residents to use the Queen Anne’s laundry room while Dorchester Hall is closed.

When will Dorchester Hall re-open?

Dorchester hall is scheduled to re-open for the Fall 2018 semester.

Please check back frequently for updates. If you have questions, please contact Dennis Passarella-George, Associate Director of Resident Life, at dgeorge@umd.edu.

Communications

E-mails sent to residents regarding Dorchester Hall.


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