Rumors abound on any college campus, and Colgate is no exception. Many of these rumors revolve around the little, gray building tucked away behind the O’Connor Campus Center: Gate House.
With a style of architecture clearly different from any other on campus, Gate House seems to bear every sign of being “temporary” housing.
“Gate House was erected to address an unexpectedly large class,” Vice President for Administration Mark Spiro said.
Normally, colleges accept students based on an expected matriculation rate, but in 1994, the percentage of students accepting their place at Colgate was uncharacteristically large. There simply wasn’t enough housing for students, and Gate House’s quick construction was the solution.
This has led to speculation that Gate House may not be a dorm for long; in one extreme version of the story, all the building’s residents will be displaced in the middle of the school year and Gate House will become office space.
These rumors, however, are far from being true.
“We anticipate that Gate House will be used for student housing until it is removed,” Vice President Mark Spiro said. The building’s removal, while possible, is not certain.
Other concerns exist over the Cutten Complex, which was built in 1966, a time period in which many buildings were constructed following methods unacceptable to today’s standards.
Cutten, like Gate House, was a response to a large influx of students. As was the case with a number of institutions in the 1960s, Colgate’s enrollment was flooded by the return home of a number of Vietnam veterans. The university needed to construct the Cutten Complex quickly, and this may have contributed to the building’s current architectural issues.
“We will have to replace Cutten Hall within the next decade,” Spiro said. Any changes to Gate House will probably take place at the same time.
Currently, the University is already involved in two capital construction projects: renovations to Case Library and construction of the Ho Science Center.
This commitment to continually improving the campus reflects Colgate’s dynamic nature, which Spiro calls “…the hallmark of the institution. Colgate thinks strategically as well as operationally.”