Colby Hall will be one of the last large residence halls to undergo a major renovation on campus.
Plans for the major renovations may include transforming Colby Hall into a coed residence hall, Director of Housing & Residence Life Craig Allen said.“Demand for all-female housing has dropped the last few years,” he said. “Now, some of that could be that Colby is also the oldest building, so we will have to see how much demand we have.”
While the university is not required to have an all-female residence hall, the decision to have one was driven by demand, tradition and the fact that more women attend the university than men, he said.
Madeline Dow, freshman business major and Colby resident, said she would prefer to continue living in an all-female dormitory.
“I like the fact that it is all girls,” Dow said. “You can walk down the hall and not worry about boys running around, I love it.”
Despite how much she enjoys living in Colby, Dow said she thought it was time for renovations.
“There are a lot of things that need to be changed at Colby, updating it and making it more colorful,” she said. “I know people say it looks like an insane asylum when they walk down the halls because it is so old, and the hallways are so long.”
Amanda Roberts, a resident assistant in Colby, said she thought the renovations were needed, as well. Roberts said Colby RAs had not yet received much information regarding next year’s renovations.
Renovations will begin in May of 2013 and will be completed by August 2014, Allen said.
The renovation at Colby will bring in elements implemented in several other residence hall renovations such as the renovations done at Clark Hall and Sherley Hall, Allen said.
Specifics are not finalized for the renovation, but Colby will look very different after renovations are completed, he said.
“We are trying to get more light into those corridors, Colby doesn’t have great lounge space right now, we will add some good lounge space,” Allen said. “We will do a number of things similar to what we did in the other residence halls, but it will have a different feel to it.”
During Colby’s renovation, freshmen would need to be assigned into other residence halls around campus, Allen said.
Two new residence halls intended for upperclassmen housing that will be completed next summer would provide temporary housing options to Colby residents, Allen said.
“We will start building two new residence halls in May over in Worth Hills. They will open in August 2013. So they will open and Colby will close, so we will have 400 beds over in the new residence halls while we do not have Colby,” he said.
Some students will be assigned to live in the new buildings, some will be moved to Waits Hall where upperclassmen currently reside, and some will live in the Campus Commons, Allen said.
Allen said the renovated Colby will house about the same amount of students, maybe fewer. Currently, Colby Hall accommodates about 350 students. When renovations are completed, Colby Hall may be able to accommodate between 330-340 residents.