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Residence hall renovations make administration’s summer to-do list

While construction workers make progress on the Westlake Hall renovations and the creation of the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center this summer, many residence halls on campus will be receiving more than a fresh coat of paint.
Among the list of several projects, selected bathrooms in University Hall will be remodeled over the three-month break. Bathrooms which will receive a face-lift will be chosen based on which floors need the most work, said Nathan Thomas the Executive Director of Residential Living and Leadership.

Thomas said plans haven’t been made to tackle mold issues in the dorm rooms, but they will be making other smaller improvements in U-Hall when they work within the building.
“We are still not exactly sure of what we are going to do about mold issues,” he said. “It really is a circulation and airflow issue, there is not a lot of work you can do to change that.” 
Minor improvements to study lounges will be made on various floors in Geisert Hall and the installation of a new roof on Williams Hall will also be a part of the summer projects. 
Thomas said that a new roof on Williams is one of the most necessary improvements that will be made.
Heitz Hall is not on the renovation list for the summer, even though renovations to the building were strongly advised in the Comprehensive Report on Residential Living written this past fall.
“Problems that are more immediate, and things that need to be done right now are being taken care of first,” Thomas said. “Heitz is OK, it’s having no structural difficulty.”
Sophomore public relations major Ryan Austin said Heitz doesn’t need to be renovated immediately.
“I’m in the worst room in Heitz,” he said. “My room has one window and it’s right next to the laundry room and still I don’t think they need to make changes right away. I love Heitz.”
College Hall and the fraternity houses of Pi Kappa Phi and Delta Tau Delta will all receive sprinklers and other safety features.
Both the Pi Kapps and the Delts pay their fees to the university and their houses are university owned and operated, Thomas said. Therefore the university has the responsibility to maintain and upkeep the properties, he said.
Thomas said there are a lot of things that he would like to see accomplished, but there are issues with time and cost.
“We have a good strategy, unfortunately we can’t do it all at once,” Thomas said. “We have a small window of time while the students are gone and it costs a lot of money.”
Although things are being taken one at a time, Thomas said over the next few years the residential halls will have a new look.
“The residential halls will look drastically different in a couple of years,” he said. “We are making a lot of improvements.”
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