Residence hall renovations near completion, just begin
Published: Friday, June 4, 2010
Updated: Monday, June 7, 2010 12:06
When students return to campus this fall, one residence hall will be opening and another will be closing: Sandison Hall will welcome nursing students, and Pickerl Hall will be closed for renovations to house the University Honors Program.
Rex Kendall, the director of residential life, said the decision to make Sandison a nursing-themed residence hall was based on size, donations and "dedicated" faculty.
Deb Barnhart, an associate professor of nursing, said she is excited about Sandison being a nursing-themed residence hall.
"This is something I've been dreaming about for years," she said.
Barnhart said the money for the major feature of the renovated Sandison Hall, the student lounge, came from a donation given by Dale and Nancy McKee, two retired nursing faculty.
Sandison will provide nursing students practice equipment for clinics, will have tutoring available for general education classes and upper-level nursing classes, and will also be the host building for nursing-related seminars, she said.
Barnhart also said her office will be located in Sandison, which she said would be very beneficial because it "brings the faculty out of the classroom…it breaks down barriers."
She said this would be best for freshmen.
"It's really hard for the [freshmen] to seek out teachers," she said.
Kendall also said having faculty offices in residence halls allows students to "interact with faculty outside of the classroom," increasing their comfort at school.
Kendall said windows, elevators and roofing were removed in the renovation process.
"Basically, we did a gut of the building," he said.
Kendall said the rooms will be double occupancy with private baths. The only difference from other such setups in other residence halls is that the sink and mirror will be located outside the private bath so that one resident can use the sink and mirror while the other is in the shower.
Barnhart said the greatest advantage the living situation will have for students—ranging from freshmen to seniors—is that they will have "the opportunity to be mentors to each other" and can "learn from each other and have fun with each other."
Kendall said Pickerl Hall will undergo renovation during the 2010-2011 academic year and will become the new home of the University Honors Program, currently located in Rhoads Hall.
He also said Pickerl will see many of the same changes as Sandison, only the sink and mirror would be located in the bathroom.
Since Pickerl was a residence hall that allowed residents to drink alcohol in the privacy of their rooms, Kendall said, Jones Hall would now allow alcohol in the same fashion.