HRL prepares to open Newell next semester
While Newell Hall is still on track to open spring 2013, Richmond Hall is estimated to remain closed until the fall 2013 semester.
While it is possible the newly renovated hall could still be opened for the spring 2013 semester, the current demand for rooms is not high enough to constitute opening Richmond, Jerry Dieringer, Assistant Vice President of Housing and Residence Life, said.
Around 250 students don’t return to on-campus living between the fall and spring semesters, according to Dieringer, and Richmond Hall would provide 200 additional beds that are not needed.
“We don’t want to open the hall unless we can come close to filling it,” Dieringer said. “We will consider opening it if the demand was so great, but we just don’t see that right now. If people want to move to a different building that’s fine, but that would still leave 250 empty spaces on campus, and we want to fill those spaces.”
Even though Newell is opening, there will still be construction going on around the building, including a new plaza in between Richmond and Newell, and a new entrance to Richmond facing Stephens Hall.
Dieringer said Newell, as well as Richmond, will offer singles, doubles and triple rooms.
Students who are currently in triples in the Glen towers will be given special priority to move to Newell, Dieringer said.
“24 or 25 rooms in Newell are designed [to be] three-person rooms,” he said. “There are some cases that a triple chooses to stay together, some can be split up and moved to Newell, and some are even choosing to change rooms together.”
Freshmen Austin Hogue and James Stadler, who are currently roommates in Scarborough Hall, said they have applied to move into one of the new triples.
“We have a friend who commutes,” Hogue said. “It’s the best option right now and it will be cheaper to live in a triple. The rooms are going to be really nice since they’re band new, so we just decided to go ahead and fill out the room change request form.”
In addition to the triple rooms in Newell and Richmond, there is also corridor-style living, similar to what is currently in Prettyman and Scarborough Halls, and suites, which are seen in the Glen towers.
“In the fall of 2013 we will let you pick what building you want to live in, and you can make a preference for what style of living they want, but right now we don’t have that,” Dieringer said. “We want to make it a nice mix of returning students and new transfer and freshmen students, it won’t be one or the other.”
Sophomore Laura Valle, who currently lives in Tower D, said she is moving into Newell next semester and working the Community Center desk there.
Valle said that as a CC worker, she is looking forward to making a good first impression as students move in after winter break.
“I get to move in early because I’m CC and I am really looking forward to decorating the lobby and making all the new residents feel welcome,” she said.
In preparation for the reopening of Newell, HRL is planning a tour of the building over winter break for anyone interested, although there has been no official date set.
“We are excited about it,” Dieringer said. “It was worth the extra time we took to make sure everything was right. All the systems are upgraded in the buildings, and because of the new roofs and outer bricks, the buildings will be close to water-tight. Overall, the buildings are just on a much higher level than they were before.”