Residence Halls

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Residence Halls


In 1948, Social Director Lois Holstein had responsibility for women’s housing. Working with a committee which include faculty members Pauline Ryan and Mary Hubbard, she investigated and approved houses for use by out-of-town women students, and enforced housing regulations. The regulations and penalties:
1) I will live in a house approved by the Institute. (Penalty for violation: Student is immediately dismissed from the Institute.)
2) I will pay my room rent in advance according to the arrangements made with the landlady. (Penalty for violation: Diploma or credit for marks is withheld until money owed to the landlady is paid.)
3) I will observe quiet hours in the house from 8:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. (Penalty for violation same as number four.)
4) I will not receive or make telephone calls after 10:00 p.m. except in case of emergency or long distance calls. (Penalty for violation: For the first two violations, warnings are given. For the third violation, a campus is enforced for the next week (8:00 p.m. house Sunday through Thursday.) For a school activity other than a regular club meeting, an extension of the campus is permitted.
5) I will be in the house and remain in the house at night according to the following schedule:
First quarter students: 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 12:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Second and third quarter students: 10:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 1:00 a.m., Friday and Saturday.
Second year students: 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 1:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday
In case of student activities scheduled to last later than the hours mentioned above, I will be in the house no later than one hour after the close of the schedule(d) activity which I attend. A social calendar will be sent to each Housemother listing the scheduled activities. Penalty for violations:
1) For the first unexcused tardiness during residence in 1949 the student is campused for the next weekend she remains at her rooming house. If she leaves every weekend, she will be campused for the next week Sunday through Thursday(:00 p.m. hours).
2) For the second infraction of the hours, the student is placed on probation and forfeits privilege to be an active member in a school organization.
3) For the third infraction of the hours, student is subject to dismissal from the Institute.
6) For weekend travel I will obtain written permission from my parent or guardian, to be sent to the office of the Housing Director. In case of emergency, special permission may be granted by the Housing Director. (Blanket permissions are acceptable.) (Penalty for violation: Same as number 7.)
7) If I wish to stay over night any place other than at my rooming house, I will obtain written permission from the Housing Director.(Penalty for violation: First violation, student is placed on probation during 1949. Second violation student is subject to dismissal from the Institute.)

(Editor’s note: It appears that “campused” meant either curfew or restricted to campus.)

The first college-operated dining hall appears to have started in 1949, managed by Charles Ingrahm, who has previously operated a cafeteria at Oneida Ltd, and had worked at Howard Johnson’s. A full course dinner (soup, main course, dessert, beverage) cost $.60. A full breakfast cost $.25.

1959 – Out-of-town students were required to live in supervised homes which are approved for residence. The average cost of single rooms, without board, was $7.50 per week.


10-10-63, Utica Observer-Dispatch) – “State Sees MVCC Building Own Dorm – Some State University officials think Mohawk Valley Community College may become the second one in the state to erect its own dormitory.
Dormitories are frowned on for community colleges and it is the policy of the State University board of trustees to disapprove matching state money for them. … There is no outright prohibition against dormitories in the law, but its intent is that community colleges would be attended largely by commuters from the county in which the college is located.
However, MVCC is unique in the State University in that it offers a full-fledged retailing course. As a result, it has attracted students from nearly every county (last year 60 of the 62 counties were represented and only 384 of the 1,126 students came from Oneida County).
To house this group, it would like to erect a dormitory. Although the State University trustees have turned down state funds for the project, ‘we are led to believe that Mohawk Valley has plans along these lines,’ said one State University official.
The only community college that has a dormitory is the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. They erected the dorm at their own expense.”

(10-22-63, Observer-Dispatch) “Dormitories in MVCC Plans, but Idea Has Snags” - ... Plans are for dormitory buildings (an idea that ran into trouble several years ago)…. Construction could begin next year and be completed in 1965. There would be two buildings, one housing 160 coeds, the other housing 160 male students.
The Oneida County Board of Supervisors will be asked for $200,000 for site development and furniture. Cost of constructing the dorm buildings, estimated at $1.2 to $1.5 million, could come from the federal government as a loan. The loan would be paid off by rental fees from students, probably over a 40-year period.
There would be other ways of financing dormitories, Payne said. These include bond issues by the county or the State University Dormitory Authority. …
Sometime ago, dormitories seemed to be on the way. The Board of Supervisors paid out $20,000 to the architectural firm of Bice and Baird. Then, the project was halted, after state university officials refused permission for a form building on the campus, Payne said.


(Jan. 3, 1964, Utica Observer-Dispatch) – “Work on Dormitories to Begin In Spring, MVCC President Says – Mohawk Valley Community College hopes to begin construction of two dormitories in the spring, President Albert Payne said today.
It would make the end of several years of delay in the college’s efforts to construct dormitories for its growing number of out-of-town students.
Until now, the state frowned on the college’s hopes to build the dormitories, apparently because there was an unwritten State University policy against dormitories at community colleges.
In 1961, MVCC unveiled plans for a dormitory, but the state never approved funds for the project. Bice & Baird, Utica architects, drafted the $20,000 plans.
Today, Rudolph A. Schatzel of Rome, chairman of the MVCC board of trustees, said the Bice & Baird plans would be incorporated in plans to be drafted by Edward D. Stone, the New York City architect who did MVCC’s architectural planning. …
One change, Schatzel said, would be the dormitories’ location. Bice & Baird put the building near the Student Union building. However, the state wanted the site reserved for other expansion, Schatzel said.
Schatzel said the location for the forms had not been selected. The plans must be approved by the state.
Each of the dormitories, one for men and one for women, would house 150 students.
The Oneida County Board of Supervisors has approved a $200,000 appropriation for site development and furnishings. An additional $1,200,000 will be borrowed from the federal government through the Federal Housing Authority. The loan will be paid over a 40-year period through student rentals.
Payne said the school was organizing a non-profit corporation to build and operate the form. The corporation would apply for the loan.”


May 28, 1964, 9:06 am, the Certificate of Incorporation for the Mohawk Valley Community College Dormitory Corporation was filed with the Oneida County Clerk. The founding directors: Rudolph Schatzel, Willis V. Daugherty, David R. Evans, Charles W. Hall, Frank E. Harden, Edward P. Heinemann, Thomas S. Kernan, Norman MacLeod, Robert J. Thomas.

(July 30, 1964, Utica Observer-Dispatch) – “Building of Dorms Seen Starting in Fall – A fall construction start on four dormitory buildings for Mohawk Valley Community College was forecast today by MVCC President Albert V. Payne.
MVCC has been assured of the financing for the buildings by the Community Facilities Administration (CFA), Payne said.
The CFA, he said, has earmarked the money pending submission of the college’s final application. Estimated outside construction cost is $1.5 million.
Payne said he knew of no alternative means of financing the project.
The Ways and Means Committee of the Oneida County Board of Supervisors yesterday approved the sale of some land easements to the MVCC Dormitory Corporation.
Four dormitory buildings – two for women and two for men – will be constructed on land just east of Sherman Drive and adjacent to the Student Union building. The buildings will extend north to Armory Drive near the intersection of Arthur Street.”

(Utica Daily Press, Sept 17, 1964) “County Gives Land for MVCC Dorms – Construction of dormitories to house 300 students (150 men and 150 women) at Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC), may begin shortly as the result of action yesterday by the Oneida County Board of Supervisors.
The board approved transfer of county-owned land for the buildings to the MVCC Dormitory Corporation for $100. The transfer stipulated that the land would revert to the county 42 years from now or upon the dissolution of MVCC Dormitory Corporation, whichever was first.
The corporation has been assured of financing by the federal Community Facilities Administration (CFA).
The CFA has set aside $1.5 million for the project….”

1965 – First four residence halls (dormitories) constructed on the Utica Campus. According to Daily Press for January 28th, construction was scheduled to begin in February. A federal loan to cover the $1,555,000 construction cost was granted by the Community Facilities Administration of the Housing and Home Finance Agency. This had been reported in Washington on January 27th by Senator Robert F. Kennedy. The three-story structures would house 310 students – two buildings for men and two for women, and were expected to be completed in a year. They were to be built on land just east of Sherman Drive to the eastern face of the Student Union building. The buildings were to extend north to Armory Drive near the intersection of Arthur Street. The architect was Edward Durell Stone.

1966 – First four residence halls completed, opened. Among the first employees: Max L. Bassett first director, and Inez D. Aubrey, house mother. (see faculty-staff section)

(Oct. 11, 1966, Daily Press) – “$1.7 Million Loan Awarded to MVCC – Mohawk Valley Community College has been awarded a $1.7 million federal loan to finance construction of its four new and nearly completed dormitories. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of the year. County Attorney Richard Frye said the federal loan, approved by the New York City regional office of the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development, was awarded to the college’s dormitory corporation, which will administer the dormitories. Frye said the loan was secured through a 40-year mortgage of the land the dormitories are built on.

1967 – One residence hall named in honor of former Trustee. Willis Daugherty, who had taken initial steps to finance and construct the halls. Other three remained unnamed- known as Buildings 1, 2 and 3.

1972 – a state audit criticized the college for aggressive recruiting practices and violating the spirit of state law by building four dormitories. The college responded that MVCC, founded in 1946, offered courses not found in similar colleges elsewhere and thus attracted students from other areas. As the non-resident population grew, it was increasingly difficult for students to find housing. Thus, with the approval of the State University and Oneida County, the college established four dormitories. (The audit also indicated that the dorms had cost $107 million, when the actual cost was $1.7 million.)

1975 – it was suggested that one of the residence halls be named for painter Norman Rockwell – the College did not pursue this.

1977 – Residence halls were filled; 48 students were placed in rooms at the Motel Hamilton, Weaver Street.

1981 – Three unnamed residence halls acquired names, selected by a naming committee composed largely of students. A ballot suggested 1) Indian Tribes of the Mohawk Valley, or 2) Historical personalities of the Mohawk Valley, or 3) Historical landmarks of the Mohawk Valley, or 4) Geographical names and places. They were named Penfield Hall, in honor of Thomas D. Penfield, a Camden resident of the mid-1800s; Huntington Hall in honor of Edward Huntington, a Rome resident of the 1800s; and Butterfield Hall, in honor of John Butterfield, a Utican of the early 1800s. One dorm was already named for Willis Daugherty, a trustee emeritus. Penfield was born in 1813 in Camden, purchased grist mills, served as Commissioner of Highways, Oneida County Sheriff, and in the New York State Assembly. He was born in 1913 in Camden. After acquiring the trade of boot and shoemaker, he purchased an interest in the flouring and grist mills in Camden. He continued successfully in that business under the partnership of Penfield and Stone. In 1848, he was named a superintendent for the construction of the Rome and Oswego Plank Roads, and later served as supervisor of a portion of that road between Rome and Williamstown. He was school commissioner in 1842, justice of the peace for eight years, town supervisor for 11 terms between 1851 and 1886. He was elected to four terms in the NY State Assembly. He was the only Democratic member of the legislature voting in favor of a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting slavery in the U.S. During the Civil War, he served on a committee charged with raising troops for the defense of Oneida County. He served the Village of Camden as town president for nine terms, commissioner of highways for four years. He also served three years as Oneida County Sheriff, starting in 1882. Huntington was born in 1917 in Rome, and was an engineer with the Utica and Schenectady Railroad. He was a founder of the Rome Iron Works and the Central NY Institute for the Deaf, and an organizer of the Rome Academy and the Rome Free School systems, serving on the city’s first board of education. He helped work on the Erie Canal, was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1846, and was a president of the Village of Rome. He also served as president for the Rome Savings Bank and later the Rome Exchange Bank. Butterfield was born in 1801 in Berne, near Albany. He formed an express company, Butterfield, Wasson and Co., that later merged with other companies to become the American Express Company. At one time he owned and controlled most stage coach lines in western New York, and developed packet boats on the canal, steamboats on Lake Ontario and plank roads in the area. He was nationally recognized by Congress and awarded a $600,000 contract for the first transcontinental stage line. He was a director of the Utica City National Bank and builder of the Butterfield House and the Butterfield Block. He served as Mayor of Utica in 1965. His son was Civil War (brevet) General Daniel Butterfield, who wrote Taps and is buried at West Point.


On April 1st, a fire broke out in a first-floor room of Daugherty Hall, doing about $150,000 damage. Eighty-four students were relocated to other residence halls and to the St. Elizabeth Hospital School of Nursing while repairs were made.


(MVCC News Release, June 9, 2003) – Residence Hall Renovations Underway at MVCC – A renovation project valued at approximately $750,000 recently began in the residence halls at Mohawk Valley Community College’s Utica Campus. Two of the four residence halls are affected this summer. Two others will be renovated during the summer of 2004…. The project includes installation… of cable television in each room, an emergency electrical generator, and a new centralized office for residence hall staff. Also included are sidewalk replacement, new exterior signage, doors, safety railings on balconies, exit and overhead ceiling lights, electrical and mechanical upgrading, and landscaping.


MVCC held groundbreaking ceremonies for a new 155-bed residence hall on the Utica Campus on May 11th, 2004. The three-story 41,000-square-foot building was to be located at the eastern end of the existing residence hall complex. It would feature five-person suites in a combination of double and single rooms. The new residence hall would bring total on-campus residence capacity to more than 500 students.
The Charles A. Gaetano Construction Corporation of Utica oversaw construction. Stantec, a U.S. and Canadian architectural firm, worked for Gaetano on the project, as did Almy & Associates Consulting Engineers of Utica. The projected cost was $6 million. Space in the nearby Alumni College Center had to be modified to provide additional dining hall space and additional mailboxes. The project also included new linking corridors tying together two residence halls at the north side of the complex, and two residence halls at the south side of the complex. The purpose of these linking corridors was to reduce the number of entry points to the residence halls (to three), offering increased security.
(MVCC news release, May 5, 2004)

August 15, 2005

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to mark the opening on a new $6 million three-story residence hall on the Utica Campus. Among those cutting the ribbon were Trustee Chairman David Mathis, Trustee John Stetson, and President Michael I. Schafer. The building would house 155 second-year students in five-person suites, and bring on-campus residential capacity to more than 500 students. The new air-conditioned facility featured a game room, rooms for meetings and social events, high speed internet, in-room telephones, and cable tv service.
The Charles A. Gaetano Construction Corporation of Utica oversaw the building’s construction, which took just over a year to complete. Stantec, an architectural firm operating in the U.S. and Canada, was employed by Gaetano to work on the project, along with Almy & Associates Consulting Engineers, of Utica.
The MVCC Dormitory Corporation, which operated residence halls on campus, bonded for the project. As a result, no State or Oneida County funding was used.
The project also included construction of new linking corridors joining two existing residence halls at the north side of the complex, and two halls on the south side of the complex. This modification reduced to three the number of entry points to all five residence halls, providing increased security. In addition, dining and mailroom facilities in the adjacent Alumni College Center were expanded to accommodate the larger on-campus population, as was campus parking.