A final bow for Colby Hall

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    Two-year-old custom paint jobs are on the walls of Colby Hall dorm rooms, a relic of what was a celebration for the historic hall’s supposed final year.

    In Fall 2013, after an announcement of a delay in construction, a new set of residents celebrated the hall’s “real” final year, layering a second coat of paint on the walls.

    Now in 2014, it appears that the paint celebration will not need another reprisal.

    It may not have the same folksy feeling of the old adage, but in the case of Colby Hall, it’s the second time that’s the charm.

    Spring 2014 is the final semester that Colby Hall will remain in its current state, as the building will be officially closed in May 2014 for renovation.

    “As of today, this is the final semester for Colby,” said David Cooper, associate director of Housing and Residence Life.

    Named after Colby D. Hall, an early dean and historian of TCU, Colby Hall Dormitory was originally planned to be renovated in May 2013. Due to a shift in priorities, however, the construction was delayed, said Craig Allen, the director of Housing and Residence Life.

    Allen cited completing the construction on dorms in the Worth Hills section of campus and finalizing plans with Brachman Hall’s demolition as some of the priorities that TCU wanted to complete before closing Colby Hall.

    Brachman Hall, slated to be demolished in 2015, will be used as one of the halls to offset the loss of housing from Colby’s closing. The new Marion and P.E. Clark Halls, along with the yet-to-be-named third residence hall in Worth Hills, are also planned to replace the 350 beds that would be lost with Colby Hall’s temporary closing.

    Once the third project will be completed, 550 new beds will be provided in the Worth Hills residence halls, offsetting Colby’s lost 350 beds.

    When Colby Hall reopens in 2015, another roughly 330-350 beds will be added back to TCU’s residence halls, Allen said.

    Although renderings of the new Colby Hall are not finished, Allen said the plans will be finalized and revealed “in the next month.” Allen said he did not know what the finalized renderings will look like, but he expects the result to be similar to previous hall renovations, such as Clark Hall and Sherley Hall.

    In previous interviews with TCU 360, Allen said he anticipated more lounge spaces, better-lit corridors and a similar number of beds in the Colby renovation.

    Originally built in 1957, Colby’s upcoming renovation is expected to be the first major overhaul to one of TCU’s oldest dormitories. The original architecture of the building will largely remain intact, as Colby Hall will not be torn down, but instead gutted—similar to how Milton Daniel Hall was renovated in 2009, Allen said.

    Colby Halloween To Continue

    With the year-and-a-half- long closing of Colby Hall, one of the longest-standing traditions for TCU’s housing and residence life will be forced to adapt to a new setting.

    “I don’t think Colby Halloween can afford to have a year off,” Allen said at the 40th incarnation of one of TCU’s most popular traditions. “Nobody here will say ‘Let’s just not do it.’ It may be in another building, it may be outside Colby Hall, but that will be our challenge. We’ll find something to make it happen.”

    The tradition, which had more than 2,000 participants last year, has been a TCU community staple since the 1970s. Although the event is too far in the future to start plans, the event is expected to continue for the 2014 Halloween season, said Colby Hall Director Amanda LaGrone.

    A former Colby resident herself ten years ago, LaGrone said an event is set to happen in the near future to celebrate the life of Colby Hall. The event will be a party to inviting alumni to return to Colby for food, a tour of the building and a chance to share memories of the 57-year-old residence hall.

    The event is planned to happen in April, though specific event details haven’t been set in stone, LaGrone said.