Dorm renovations continue

Shawntaye Hopkins

It’s a common sight for students.

One dorm closes and undergoes renovation.

Then another.

Then another.

The cycle has continued on the Hill for three years.

Phase one of the Student Life Foundation’s renovation project will draw to a close one year sooner than expected after the renovation of Poland Hall is completed in the spring.

Brian Kuster, director of Housing and Residence Life, said the $45 million project was supposed to take five years, but will instead be completed in four years.

Project team leader Don Stoneburg said more dorms were able to be completed in the summer than expected.

The project began in 2000 with the renovation of McLean Hall.

Nashville sophomore Ariel Graham, a Barnes-Campbell Hall resident, said she’s pleased with the housing improvements on campus.

“I think the renovations are good because it seems like they haven’t been renovated in a while and they needed to update some things,” Graham said.

But Graham said several of her friends in unrenovated dorms complain about them.

Stoneburg said the dorms that had major renovations were those that didn’t yet have air conditioning.

He said changes, even if they were minor, have been made in all the dorms.

“I’m pleased with the results of the project, and my impressions are that the students and the HRL staff are also pleased with the changes we’ve made,” Stoneburg said.

Kuster said the money for the project didn’t stretch as far as he’d hoped.

The renovations could continue if more money becomes available, he said.

Most of the details about phase two and three of the project have not yet been decided. But Kuster said dorms in the Valley and Keen Hall will probably be renovated in the next phase.

He said Pearce-Ford Tower may be renovated in phase three.

The Minton Hall renovation is nearly complete, Kuster said.

Minton, Bemis Lawrence Hall and Barnes-Campbell Hall all got major changes, including new furniture, carpeting, flooring and ceiling repairs.

Next semester, Poland residents will move into Minton so the dorm can get the same renovations.

The directional halls, Bates-Runner Hall and McLean were completely gutted and renovated.

All of the dorms got new sprinkler systems, fire alarms and magnetic locks on the doors, Kuster said. Most received updates in their lobbies.

Kuster said about $10 million, separate from the $45 million used in the renovations, went to a reserve account to pay possible debts and make dorm repairs.

“I think we will always see some type of renovation going on in the residence halls from now on,” Kuster said.

Reach Shawntaye Hopkins at [email protected]