Whitley Residence will receive a $300,000 cosmetic makeover this summer.
While the structure of the building will remain the same, the dorm is getting a fresh coat of paint, new flooring, redone showers, and a renovated kitchen for the 2017-2018 academic year. It will be the first time the 1989-built dorm will receive a renovation of this scale, Chief Administrative Officer Rich Péwé said.
“We want to keep it maintained,” he said. “To keep it going, we need to put some work into it.”
Péwé said the dormitory has had a growing number of recurring issues needing fixes during the summer months and was placed on the deferred maintenance list.
“It comes down to which one of these projects we needed the most,” Péwé said. “We spent a lot of time there. If we don’t get after it, it’s not getting any better.”
Resident Assistant junior Emily Rinaldi said RAs this year had expressed some dissatisfaction at the “grunginess” of the dorm, including stains in the carpeting and holes in the wall.
“I think it will be a really great fresh start for the dorm,” Rinaldi said.
The color scheme will have a neutral palette. Vinyl flooring that doesn’t scratch easily will replace carpeting. Additionally, the college is changing the the fiber glass showers to tile to last longer.
“If we’re going to do it, we want to do it right,” Péwé said. “We’ve figured out what we like and what works well.”
Junior Kirsi Eby, who will be a resident assistant in Whitley next school year, said she hopes the renovation will create a comfortable space.
“It’s nice to come to a space that is safe and clean,” Eby said. “It relieves a lot of stress on your mind.”
The renovation will start immediately after the women move out of the dorm and will be complete when students return in August. No walls will be altered, and the furniture will stay the same.
The next major dorm renovation is Galloway Residence. The college plans to start that project in May 2018, and Péwé said he expects the renovation to take a full year to complete.
The college is looking into options on how to house the 75 men for that year, he said.
“We don’t want to move them off campus, because it is hard to get them back,” Péwé said. “We are so much about building community, we have to take that into consideration.”
For now, the college is looking to foster a stronger community in Whitley with the renovation this summer.
“I think it will revive the community,” Rinaldi said. “I think people will want to hang out in Whitley and invite people over.”