Students in Gilbert and Bates-Runner Halls are preparing for displacement next year.
Starting in fall 2015, students currently residing in Gilbert and Bates will be shuffled around for the duration of the academic year to accommodate renovations in Florence Schneider Hall, home to the Gatton Academy.
Students impacted by the changes have mixed feelings on the subject.
Amber Fowler, a Louisville sophomore, is disappointed by the relocation.
“It kind of sucks because, I mean, I can’t stay in (Gilbert) and I like this one best,” she said.
Students living in the dorms in question are working to find alternative housing both on and off campus.
Fowler stated that while living in an apartment is appealing, it’s not altogether practical for her at the moment. Instead, she intends to live in Rodes-Harlin Hall in the fall of 2015.
Brandon Goodwin, a junior from Hopkinsville and a resident assistant in Bates, said that many of the students he has spoken with are more frustrated by the situation than anything else.
However, while several students are disappointed by the prospect of relocating buildings, some also see the long-term benefits to the decision.
Tom Seibold, a junior from Louisville, currently lives in Bates and is an alumnus of Gatton Academy.
“[Gatton] itself is a very nice building,” Seibold said. “The expansion of the program will create more opportunities for more students.”
Seibold added that the building didn’t necessarily need renovation, though.
The arrival of more Gatton students and the expansion of the program will further benefit WKU’s reputation, Seibold said. The Gatton Academy was recently ranked as the No. 1 high school in the U.S., according to an article issued by The Daily Beast. By expanding the building, more students will be able to attend the school.
Seibold was originally planning to live in Bates, but upon hearing of the impending move, he jumped into action and secured a room in McLean Hall.
For some students, however, the competition to procure rooms in any of the upperclassmen dorms proved difficult.
“My freshman year I dropped a class, and I haven’t made up for it yet, so I was two credits short for being a junior next year,” Fowler said. “Which means I didn’t get to register in time to try and get into the upperclassmen dorms.”
Ultimately, despite the collective frustration, students remain generally empathetic to the situation.
“I understand where they’re coming from with relocating people and trying new things,” Fowler said. “If you don’t try and move forward, nothing will ever change for the better. Yeah, it sucks from the standpoint of a soon-to-be junior having to leave a dorm that I like, but I understand. Am I bitter? Yes. But I understand.”
Goodwin shares the sentiment.
“[The relocation] effects a lot of people, however I think in the long run it will benefit both Gatton and WKU,” Goodwin said.
Brian Kuster, the executive director of Housing and Residence Life, was unavailable for comment.