The Dorm Project

We’re building a dorm! Since Yestermorrow’s inception in a garage in 1980, there has been a vision for one central campus to host all of our programs and students. This vision started to be realized with the purchase of the campus in 1990. In 2010 we started the process of developing a master plan which includes additional classroom/shop space, a renovated kitchen, and five new dormitory buildings.

We are thrilled to announce that, as of this fall, we have officially broken ground on the first dormitory building. The project is the physical manifestation of the countless hours that the collective minds and hearts of our students, staff, instructors and board members have dedicated toward the future of Yestermorrow.

The Fall 2019 Semester in Design/Build embarked on the ambitious task of designing and building the newest addition to our campus. At 1,200 square feet, this dormitory will house sixteen students and feature a common area, mudroom, and bathrooms. Currently, we are only able to house 2/3 of our student population at our facilities. This new option is more affordable than our current dorm housing and will allow us to retain our student body on the premises- immersed in our transformative programs. 

With innovation in mind, the students have designed stacking “sleeping pods” to create private spaces that are gender-neutral, space-conscious, and a quiet respite from the campus energy. With high ceilings to allow standing, a twin size bed, and adjustable personal storage space, these pods will promote greater individual autonomy within a communal space. The private sleeping pods will be demountable for use in other locations and to support multiple uses for the building as a whole.

The construction of the building is equally ambitious. The foundation consists of helical piers which, in addition to being economical, create minimal site disturbance in this sensitive watershed. With net-zero goals in mind, the building will be super-insulated with dense-pack cellulose. A twelve-inch thick, wood double stud wall framing system will afford an R-46 insulation rating. Sixteen-inch deep floor and roof assemblies will each provide an R-56 rating.  Zip sheathing will form both the air seal and weather protection planes. A layer of strapping will provide a drainage plane and ventilating air gap to facilitate drying of the wall assembly and increase the life of the wood siding. Locally sourced, the horizontal wood siding will enhance the strong datum of the ground plane, floor plate, and ridgeline above. Lastly, the subtly sloped roofs will welcome green roof systems to support onsite stormwater management, local plant species, and pollinators.

To fully achieve our net-zero goals, interior mechanical and electrical systems will all be high efficiency. These will include an on-demand propane water heater, an air-to-air heat pump system, air-to-air heat exchangers for high indoor air quality and overall building health, and LED lighting.

Slated for occupancy in 2021, this project is the most ambitious project we’ve tackled on our own property in over a decade. Over the next year, a variety of Yestermorrow courses will step in to help complete the project. Basic Carpentry (p. 10) students will finish the interior framing, Wire It Up (p. 13) students will work on the electrical systems, and Green Roof Design and Installation (p. 14) will create the living roof in the center of the building. 

As we step into our 40th year, it is a pivotal moment to boldly embark on this impactful advancement to create sensitive and inspired spaces right here on our own campus for the next generation of makers and dreamers. There have been so many hands and minds that have contributed to our success over the years. We find great joy in collaboration and invite you all to be partners in this project by making a financial contribution. To make a tax-deductible donation, please click here

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