The Great Class of Dartmouth 1966
Along Route 66 Latest Issue now available!

November 25, 2014

Mr. Alan Keiller ’66 President, Class of 1966

Dear Al:

I’m writing to follow up on our recent conversations and correspondence about the exciting possibility of the Class of ’66 funding the construction of a new bunkhouse at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge in connection with your 50th Reunion.

As we discussed, although the new Class of ’74 and ’65 Bunkhouses (and the proposed ’67 Bunkhouse) provide much needed replacements for the beds in the old bunkhouses that are being removed, they don’t address our pressing need for private, family-style rooms. We receive many requests from Dartmouth families and individuals, and members of the general public, for sleeping accommodations in a private room, which we have hardly any ability to provide. Of course those rooms and beds would regularly be used by all overnight guests when not reserved for family groups, especially when our facilities are fully booked, such as during the First Year Trips program when we are short on beds. I think this would be a particularly popular and frequently requested accommodation.

Here is an outline of the kind of structure that would be a valuable addition to Moosilauke facilities, along with a possible site plan and a highly conceptual sketch (the actual design, which might well be different, would be developed through architectural planning):

  • Approximately 1100 square foot structure just north of the new ’74 bunkhouse (see attached conceptual site plan)
  • Timber frame construction, to be built through a timber frame workshop and volunteer work weekends involving alumni, students, and friends (similar to the highly successful process for the ’84, ’74, and ’65 structures)
  • 4 bedrooms with 4-6 sleeping spaces in each, including some combination of bunks, queen-size beds, or futons, etc. (16 to 24 bed total)
  • Insulated and equipped with a wood stove for comfort during the spring and fall. Additional insulation could make the facility usable in the winter.
  • Possible inclusion of a cooking space (not a full kitchen) for programmatic use when the Lodge is closed
  • Possible inclusion of an indoor propane or composting toilet and washroom (without plumbing) suitable for family use
  • Common/social space shared by guests
  • Covered and possibly screened porch(es)
  • Concrete or wood floor

The site work, construction and soft costs (planning, permitting, etc.) for this kind of building would probably be in the range of $400K to $500K, depending on design and variables such as size, degree of insulation, wood or concrete floors, furnishings, and amenities like a bathroom and cooking space. The actual cost would be confirmed in the design process. Additionally, there is an institutional requirement for a maintenance endowment for new construction. Depending on the timing of Class decision-making, required institutional approval, and progress with fund-raising according to an agreed-upon schedule, construction could begin in the summer or fall of 2015 and be completed in the spring of 2016, with the building dedicated and ready for occupancy by the time of the ’66 50th reunion in June of 2016. Our ’84, ’74, and ’65 projects have proceeded on time and on budget.

If the Class would like to pursue this project, I would seek approval through the College facility process. We could work with Sylvia Racca to develop a statement of understanding (SOU) that would confirm fundraising milestones enabling stages in the design and construction process. We would also involve representatives of the Class in a building advisory committee that would consult with College staff and the architect about design.

I’m very excited about this possibility and it’s potential. As you know from your experience with the Class of ’66 Lodge, this kind of project not only produces a beautiful, useful and highly functional building, it engages alumni and students with one another and with the College in an extraordinarily positive and memorable way.

Many thanks for your interest and your support for what outdoor experience does for students and means for Dartmouth.


Dan Nelson ’75, Director