Bucknell West Construction in Progress


Sienna Williams / The Bucknellian

Sarah Toohey, Contributing Writer

Bucknell West, more commonly known as ‘The Mods’ by students, is under construction to become updated apartment housing for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Currently the Mods are single-standing H-shaped modular structures that function as suite style living spaces complete with a living area and kitchen. 

The remodeling will redesign the Mods into three-story apartment buildings, similar to the South Campus apartments located uphill. Construction is well underway, as half of the Mods have already been demolished, and the basic structure of one of the new apartment buildings is already standing. Two of these residence halls will be constructed by this fall semester. The other half of the Mods will be demolished in the fall to create space for the remainder of the construction project. 

The new Bucknell West Apartments will provide a much needed update to the Mods, which have been a living option on Bucknell’s campus since 1974. Next year, the existing Mods will be available as a housing option for upperclassmen for the fall only, as the rest of the construction is supposed to take place in the spring semester of 2024. 

On Instagram, Bucknell Housing posted a farewell to the beloved Mods, which have housed many Bucknellians throughout their 50 years of existence. The university aims to still capture the much-loved spirit of the former module housing in the brand new buildings. 

The new residence halls will leave plenty of outdoor space for recreation on Bucknell’s west side of campus, including a fire pit, amphitheater, barbecue grills, a volleyball court, and ping pong tables. The Bucknell West apartments, once completed, will offer updated housing to 280 Bucknellians. These new buildings will be more cohesive aesthetically, matching the red brick structures all around campus. 

According to the Executive Summary of a Sustainability Plan published at the beginning of the year, “work began on Bucknell’s sustainability plan in 2017, then paused during the development of The Plan for Bucknell 2025 and was further delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to the Plan, four groups under the President’s Sustainability Council oversaw the “implementation approach to assist the University in prioritizing initiatives to ensure that Bucknell will meet its commitment of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 while developing the sustainability plan.” 

The plan also made a number of other recommendations for the University, that could be implemented in the new buildings:

  • “Explore and develop broad-based initiatives for ecological conservation and restoration including farming (food, animal and solar), landscaping, biodiversity and green space/natural habitat protection that enhances the existing Campus Master Plan;
  • Update the Energy Master Plan to prepare the University for future efforts to achieve net zero emissions;
  • Drive behavioral changes for waste reduction, including the reduction of single-use plastics.”

Additionally, the apartments will be more eco-friendly, as they are a component of Bucknell’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2030. The new Mods are designed with an updated geothermal heating and cooling system to achieve this aim. While the beloved Mods will be missed, the plans for the new Bucknell West Apartments will provide a much needed update and excellent living conditions for Bucknell students for years to come.

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