Renovations to the freshmen high-rise dorm Russell Hall are making progress, with new furniture and a different layout than in previous years. The $44,500,000 project is expected to be completed by the fall semester of 2018.
University Housing posted a short video of the new layout on their Facebook page as well as a 360 video on the University Housing website revealing new movable furniture and cubbies which replaced the metal dressers and closets.
Past residents of Russell Hall reacted to the new videos with a mix of nostalgia and envy.
Kayla Nichols, a sophomore public relations major, said the new dorms seem like they are going to look a lot nicer than when she lived there her freshman year.
“They look more sleek and obviously modern. Since the built-in desks are gone, it looks like there’s much more space,” Nichols said. “It’s nice that the students will be able to choose where the desks go.”
The new dorms will cost $2,886 per semester for a double room and community bath, and $3,186 a semester for a double room with a bathroom.
Those who saw the Facebook post commented on how nice the renovated dorms looked in the sneak-peak video.
Allie Norris, a freshman emerging media studies major who lives in Hill Hall, commented about the chairs, but she said feels like the new floors and furniture make them “more homey” for students.
“My dorm has a lot of metal elements so it sometimes feels like I live in a rusted metal box,” Norris said. “I definitely think it will make [students] feel more comfortable in their dorm.”
Stan Jackson, director of student affairs communications and marketing initiatives, said University Housing released footage of the updated rooms in order to give the class of 2022 an idea of what the dorms would look like as they register for housing.
“Based on University Housing’s desire to provide a more inviting living environment, the old vinyl tile will be replaced with wood-appearance luxury vinyl tile,” said Jackson in an email. “The built-in furniture will be replaced with moveable beds, desks, dressers and wardrobes to give residents more flexibility in how they arrange their spaces.”
Overall, Jackson said the renovations are expected to give students more privacy in the community bathrooms, as well as more community spaces for gatherings or study spaces.
“In response to student input, the bathrooms will be upgraded to allow for more privacy and to incorporate modern fixtures and finishes,” Jackson said. “The main lobby and individual floor core spaces will be opened up and updated to encourage community engagement and to provide spaces for gathering and studying.”