Dorms undergo renovations

by Krystiana Morales

Stewart Hall will undergo renovations during Christmas break and throughout Jan Term, similar to renovations made in the Village last summer. Stewart will get a new paint job, new carpeting and upgraded lighting. New decals, graphics and water fountains will also be included in updates to the residence hall.

Residence Life began renovations on residence halls, starting with the Village this summer, in order to create more comfortable environments for students living in the dorms, as well as to modernize the aging buildings.

Many of the residence hall lounges are dated and upgrading lighting and adding fresh paint can often make students feel more at home. The renovations made to Stewart and other residence halls are part of Residence Life officials’ goal to create a relaxing environment.

“The building is structurally sound, so the renovations are meant to modernize the lounge,” said Fred Johnston, project and resource conservation manager. “Updating the residence hall and sprucing it up gives it an environment where students can relax, hang out with their friends and study. I look at the cosmetics as being necessary to making the residence halls feel more comfortable.”

To prioritize renovations, Residence Life officials look at the scale of renovations that need to be made to residence halls, as well as available funding.

“We are working toward a rotation, so one residence hall or area gets some updating each year,” Associate Dean of Students Jolyn Dahlvig said. “We started with the Village and Stewart. The Village was able to be completed over the summer, but we could not get Stewart completed.”

The team assigned to administer the renovations is comprised of an interior designer, a resident director, a small group from Facilities Services, Dahlvig and associate director of student housing Alan Jacob.

When considering which residence halls will be renovated, the team considers other projects going on around campus, how fast the fabrics and products in the hall are deteriorating and whether or not another residence hall needs updating.

“With Stewart being switched to an all freshman dorm, Residence Life wanted to make the space more enthusiastic for the students,” Jacob said. “Freshman tend to be harsher on buildings and we wanted to see how these fabrics and product would wear.”

The budget for renovations of both Stewart and the Village is $100,000.

Facilities Services may bring in an outside contractor to renovate a residence hall depending on the scale of updates. Due to daily work orders, Facilities Services members are not always able to perform renovations.

“The team plans on upgrading the lighting using LED lights that will be more energy efficient. The surface coverings for the lounge will be put together using non-toxic adhesives,” Johnston said. “However, carpeting has a shelf life, and while recycled carpet may replace the old it has to be removed every 10 years or so.”

A new lighting system was installed in the Baldwin-Jenkins lounge last month. A few years ago, the lounge was retrofitted, but Facilities Services found problems with the original lighting.

Residence Life will continue administering renovations to residence halls, but has yet to decide which residence halls are next in the rotation to undergo updates.

Contact Krystiana Morales at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *