The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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SMU dorms get extreme makeovers

Who could possibly be making that racket across the Boulevard? Why, the construction workers, of course! Starting in the academic year of 2007-08, construction workers have been drilling, hammering and performing their magic so residence halls will be ready in time for incoming and returning students.

Shuttles, Mary Hay and Peyton Hall residents are the first ones this academic year to enjoy the new makeover. Renee Gibson, residence hall director of Shuttles, was grateful for the renovation.

“The whole inside has been redone,” she said. “Before, we didn’t have access to cable in the rooms, but now we do. We also have a laundry room on every floor. A lot of residents say it has a ‘hotel-feel’ to it.”

Masako Ikeda, a senior resident in Shuttles, was also very pleased with the hall’s updates, saying, “We like the cleanliness, the new sets of furniture, the bathrooms, the carpets and everything,” he said.

Added features to Shuttles include automatic closing doors and three different community lounges. The north quad of Mary Hay, Peyton and Shuttles all share similar renovation updates and layouts.

Boaz Hall, located at Bishop Boulevard and Ownby Drive, is currently under renovation and will be open to residents beginning in fall 2008. According to the Residence Life and Student Housing Web site, Boaz will receive moveable furniture within the rooms, new community bathrooms, a new common room and wheelchair accessible rooms.

Kelly Fordham, a sophomore and past resident of Boaz Hall, really enjoyed her time there.

“I lived in Boaz all of freshman year,” she said. “I don’t think Boaz was in desperate need of renovations, but the bathrooms were pretty awful.”

She also said that because the dorm room’s doors did not shut automatically, it forced people to socialize more with their neighbors, which contributed to making new friends.

“[Boaz] was old, but that was part of its character,” Fordham said.

The other residence halls on campus haven’t had improvements in a long time, or haven’t had any at all. Susan Austin, Associate Director of Facilities Operations, explained a dorm’s renovation process.

“We first look at the systems, meaning heating and electrical, and then we look at the cosmetics of the hall,” she said. “We then take note of what the students want and need and present the ideas to President Turner and trustees.”

Typical plans for a dorm renovation usually take at least two years to produce before construction begins. Austin says construction will then go into a nine-month process, during which the residence hall would be under renovation for a full semester plus a summer.

Smith, Perkins, Martin and Hawk halls will be renovated next. Although no plans have been made, Smith Hall has priority over the others for renovation when the time comes because it lacks up-to-date features.

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