Alumnae and students gathered together to share memories of Colby Hall Sunday afternoon. Before the dorm closes for renovations next school year, alumnae were able to take tours of the building and look at their old rooms.
“I want to support the wonderful women that have come through the hall and say goodbye one final time before we renovate the building,” said Rachel Hopper, assistant director of housing and residence life. “They built such strong relationships when they were here and we love for them to come back and relive that moment.”
Beth Barham, a Colby alumna and graduate of 1994, said she met her best friend in Colby and loves seeing the state of Colby now.
“I look at all these young girls and I’m so excited they have such a future ahead of them,” Barham said.
Harold Leeman, director of facility planning and construction, said the renovation to Colby is expected to cost $19,000,000. As part of the renovation, the building will be gutted to the concrete floors and brick walls and rebuilt completely.
When it comes to the renovation, students and alumna have mixed feelings.
Bailey Betik, a junior English major and Colby Hall resident assistant, said Colby is part of long TCU tradition and she’s sad to see it change.
“I keep telling Amanda, our hall director, that I’m going to chain myself to Colby Hall when they tear it down,” said Betik. “I think there are a lot of special college memories that Colby holds within its walls.”
Mary Ruth Jones, the Clark Hall office assistant, lived in Colby in 1958. Jones has worked at TCU for 30 years and said she has been able to see Colby through the years and is excited for the renovation.
“It’s special to know it’s getting renovated like our other halls here,” said Jones. “It has a lot of memories.”
Brittany Dougherty, Colby resident and freshman movement science major, said it’s time for Colby to close for renovations.
“I feel like it’s about time for the renovation,” said Dougherty. “There are a lot of memories here, but the change is necessary.”
To fill the void of Colby next semester, one of the current residence halls will be designated as the all female hall. Craig Allen, director of housing and residence life, said the decision will be based on incoming student interest in an all-female dorm.
Allen said the renovation to Colby is beneficial to students and the campus.
“You could go to a lot of other campuses and Colby would be a nice dorm,” Allen said. “It’s good, but it’s not up to the standards of the other buildings here.”
Leeman also said the improvements to Colby will help enhance the campus.
Similar renovations have been done to other dorms across campus and have been well received, he said.
“I believe the women of TCU present and future will be talking about how much they love their first TCU home for their entire lives just like they do now,” Leeman said.