ResLife moves towards increased ‘ResCollege’ feel
This summer, the Park House residence hall will undergo renovations to combine freshman and sophomore housing. Beginning in the fall of 2007, two of the four floors in Park will house freshmen while the other two will continue to house sophomores.
According to Steve Rackers, the manager of facilities planning, major renovations will be performed on Park and small changes, such as painting and the addition of fire sprinklers, will be made to Mudd. In Park, the walls between adjacent singles will be torn down in order to create doubles. In addition, Park 1 will be converted to a substance-free floor for upperclassmen.
The renovations to Park are aimed at making the dormitory layout more similar to other freshman dorms on the South 40.
“Typically freshmen live two people to a room,” said Rackers. “The changes will bring Park-Mudd into the residential college scheme.”
“There are obviously mixed feelings because Park-Mudd is losing its ‘older’ feel, since it has traditionally been for upperclassmen. As a freshman, when you come in, you’ll start at Park and you’ll go to Mudd [as an upperclassman],” said junior Ray Mailhot, resident advisor for Mudd.
“It’s like in Harry Potter, where if you’re in Gryffindor, you’re in Gryffindor. It’s definitely sad that you’re losing the enormous rooms, but it’ll be good to have the freshmen,” he added.
Sophomore Rachael Meyers feels that converting Park may not effectively meet the housing needs of the incoming sophomore class. She thinks that the suite style housing discourages floor bonding.
“I’m not sure if this dorm style is suitable for freshmen,” said Meyers.
The residence hall of Eliot will return to housing sophomores next year rather than freshmen. Eliot has in past years housed sophomores, but it was converted to a freshman dorm this year to meet the needs of the unusually large freshman class.
Current freshmen worry that the changes will reduce housing options for them next year. Freshman Daria Galis currently lives in Eliot and likes the prospect of Park remaining an all-sophomore dorm for next year.
“I can’t believe they are doing this,” said Galis. “I think Eliot is great for freshmen but Park should stay all-sophomore. Since Park already has common rooms, they should keep them for sophomores who need them more.”
Destruction of the old South 40 dorms Beaumont, Lee, Umrath and Rubelmann was pushed back. Originally, the demolition of Beaumont was tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2007 and Lee, Umrath and Rubelmann were to be destroyed in the falls of 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively. According to Rackers, demolition will instead begin in summer of 2008 and one dorm will be torn down and rebuilt each summer until 2011.
The new dormitories will be rebuilt in much the same style as the newest dormitory on campus, Liggett.
The South 40 updates were delayed because the Facilities Planning department is waiting until after construction of the Village East apartments is completed in 2008. These apartments will resemble the Village houses on the exterior but they will be formatted in the apartment style of Millbrook. The apartments will also house one study room on each floor.
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