The Shaft
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Spectrum will be producing content on The Shaft from now until early April when housing selection ends. If at any time you have questions about The Shaft or about housing selection at Barnumbia, let us know, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Housing selection season is upon us once again. While each dorm has its own personality and unique perks—proximity to the But, AC, kitchen, etc.—there is nothing quite like having a brand new (or, at least kind of new) dorm way below NYC rent price. Here’s your comprehensive guide to Columbia and Barnard dorms that have been renovated recently, as well as those with plans in the works.

Columbia dorms


2016 Updates

  • New lounge furniture on first floor
  • New fitness rooma dded to fourth floor

Coming summer of 2017

  • Desk chairs to be replaced by rolling chairs


2016 Updates

  • New kitchen cabinets in the west half of the building
  • Basement lounge renovation included:
    • Air conditioning
    • Fitness room
    • Study room
    • Computer lab
    • Laundry room
  • Electrical improvements
  • New front stoop and convenience ramp

Carlton Arms

Coming 2018

  • New basement lounge


2016 Updates

  • Rolling desk cahirs added throughout building
  • Floor lounge across from the elevator on the fifth floor
  • Removal of built-in cabinets, addition of a new bathroom, flooring, paint, doors, and lights in one suite
  • Lobby renovation included:
    • ADA bathroom at builidng entry
    • Guard desk
    • LED lighting
    • Computer lab relocated to first floor across from elevator
    • Vending area

Coming summer of 2017

Renovations made to floors 11, 12, and 13 will include:

  • Lounge across from the elevator on each floor and an ADA room added on each floor
  • 10-person suites at the end of each hall
  • Furniture
  • Flooring, lighting, and paint
  • Bathrooms
  • Fan coils
  • Outlets with USB plugs
  • Chair rail in the hallways to increase accessibility
  • Additional upgrades to improve the appearance of the floors

East Campus

2016 Updates

Completed renovation of 12 suites in three townhouses, H5, H7, and H9 included:

  • Bathroom fixtures
  • Kitchens
  • Furniture throughout
  • Flooring
  • Lighting
  • Paint throughout

Coming summer of 2017

38 suites will be refreshed in Townhouses 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 10, with upgrades including:

  • Renovated kitchens with updated cabinets, flooring, and lighting
  • Bathroom finishes
  • Flooring throughout
  • Furniture throughout


2016 Update

  • North elevator received full upgrade

Coming summer of 2017

  • Replacement of south elevator

John Jay

2016 Updates

Final phase of building-wide renovation with floors five to eight included:

  • Single-use bathrooms (seven per floor, including one ADA bathroom)
  • New flooring in all rooms and hallways and new furniture in all rooms and floor lounges
  • LED lighting in all rooms and hallways
  • Paint throughout
  • Recycling containers placed in all rooms throughout the building

2015 Updates

Renovation of floors 9, 10, and 11 included:

  • Single-use bathrooms
  • Paint and flooring throughout
  • LED lighting throughout
  • Renovated lounge with new furnishings
  • Updated recycling stations


2015 Updates

Renovations on fourth, fifth, and sixth floors included:

  • Single-use bathrooms (including one ADA bathroom per floor)
  • LED lighting
  • Flooring and paint
  • Windows
  • Relocation of fitness center to fourth floor
  • Relocation of student group study lounge to the first floor

2016 Updates

Renovations on second and third floors included:

  • Single-use bathrooms (seven per floor, including one ADA bathroom)
  • Lounges with new appliance fixtures and new furniture
  • Flooring in all rooms and hallways, new paint, and recycling containers throughout building


2015 Updates

Renovations on second and third floors, included:

  • Updated bathrooms
  • Flooring in hallways
  • Doors for student rooms
  • Small lounge with cable TV near the kitchen area in D suite


2016 Updates

  • Windows
  • Rolling desk chairs and electric stoves added throughout building

Coming summer of 2017

  • Accessbility ramp to be added to building entryway
  • Entry doors


Coming summer of 2017

  • Desk chairs to be replaced by rolling chairs


2016 Updates

  • Renovation of sample rooms on the fourth floor to get new flooring
  • LED lighting
  • Sinks and sample bedroom layout changes in walk-through doubles
  • Reconfigured lounges on floors five to nine
  • Floors six and eight have new lounges, including a kitchen with stove top, sink, and microwave
  • Furniture added throughout the building

Coming summer of 2017:

Renovations will be made to floors 10, 11, and 12, including:

  • Flooring in single rooms
  • Vanities replacing the previous separate sinks and mirrors
  • Replacement of radiators

Barnard dorms


Spring of 2017

  • New guard desk


2016 Updates

  • C and E apartments renovated

It might just be one more thing to complicate your housing decision-making process, but a beautiful and comfortable apartment can really enhance your campus living experience.

What do you think about these campus housing improvements? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat @CUSpectrum.

Jackie Hajdenberg is a Spectrum trainee and a Barnard sophomore. Her dream dorm probably doesn’t exist. Reach her at

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