SHARE

Starting next fall, the college will have a new women’s res­i­dence on campus.

The new dorm will allow Whitley Res­i­dence, which was ren­o­vated this past summer, to become a men’s dorm. In addition, the college plans to start ren­o­vating Gal­loway Res­i­dence next summer. These projects are a con­tin­u­ation of the college’s goal to update much of its housing, fol­lowing similar ren­o­va­tions in Simpson, McIntyre, Mauck, and Olds res­i­dences in recent years.

The new dorm for sophomore, junior, and senior women will be three stories high, with 55 beds and double rooms. It will also have com­munity bath­rooms with cubby spaces and changing rooms, a com­munity lounge, a glassed-in study room with white­boards, and a study balcony, according to Asso­ciate Dean of Women Rebekah Dell. Its coffee house, which will likely have booth-style seating, will be open to anyone on campus. The fin­ished product will cost $3.2 million.

“This has actually been a con­ver­sation that we’ve been having for several years,” Dell said. “We’ve met with three or four student building com­mittees to discuss what the stu­dents would want on campus if we built a new res­i­dence hall. It’s a very well-thought-out, com­fortable living space.”

The new dorm, still unnamed, will feature an outdoor patio, sit­uated between the dorm and the neigh­boring dorms, Benzing and Mauck. Dell said the patio could likely be used for musical events and other activ­ities, such as an open mic night.

The new dorm will provide extra housing for many stu­dents who would oth­erwise have to live off-campus, according to Chief Admin­is­trative Officer Rich Péwé.

“We had around 60 sophomore men off-campus this year,” he said. “When you’re a sophomore, it’s better if you can be on campus, both for retention and the Hillsdale expe­rience. So long-term, we’re increasing the number of men’s beds on campus by building this dorm.”

The Whitley ren­o­va­tions this summer cost $260,000, allowing for new blinds, windows, sinks, van­ities, and new wood, tile, and carpet flooring. Ren­o­vators also painted the dorm in neutral grays and blues and refur­bished the kitchen with new coun­tertops and cabinets.The ren­o­va­tions began at the beginning of the summer and were com­pleted by mid-August.

Res­ident Assistant Kirsi Eby ’18 said after a year of living in Whitley with stained carpet floors and bugs crawling in through the windows, she said she thought the place could use a “little TLC.”

“You could just tell it’s been around for a long time,” she said. “When everyone heard Whitley was getting ren­o­vated, everyone was like, ‘Oh, praise the Lord!’ and they were so excited.”

The Gal­loway ren­o­va­tions will be more extensive than those in Whitley. They will cost a total of $3.5 to $4 million and will be com­pleted by June of 2019, according to Péwé. In addition to new study spaces and lounges, the dorm will get new plumbing, air con­di­tioning, heating, lighting, elec­trical upgrades, dry wall, and bath­rooms. The floor plans will also change in order to make them more con­sistent with other recently-ren­o­vated dorms like Simpson, McIntyre, and Mauck.

Dell said smaller projects like the Whitley ren­o­va­tions are handled by local con­tractors and the college’s main­te­nance facil­ities.

“It probably would not be wise of us to take on three to four projects at a time, both finan­cially and staff-wise, as far as res­i­dence halls,” she said. “So we just have had an eye from the start to try and do one to two a year.”

For now, the women in Whitley are looking forward to enjoying their freshened space. Emily Rinaldi, a senior RA in Whitley, said she thinks her dorm’s ren­o­va­tions will bring the res­i­dents together.

“I think there will be greater com­munity within the dorm,” she said. “It’s not that we lacked com­munity at all; it just kind of makes the dorm cheerful and happy and more exciting to be in.”