By Ashley Coker
Bryan College’s oldest women’s dorm, Huston Hall, will be closed for renovations this upcoming school year.
“Based on current enrollment projections for 2014-2015, we are planning to take the opportunity to close Huston for the upcoming academic year, and potentially make some upgrades,” said Tim Shetter, assistant dean of community life.
According to Vice President of Operations Tim Hostetler, this opportunity has proved beneficial to renovation plans because so much more can be accomplished over the course of an entire year as opposed to a single summer.
Hostetler said officials from Operations and the Office of Student Life sat down with Huston’s current resident assistants and Resident Director Janette Delozier to discuss what they would like to see changed in Huston.
Among these suggested changes were replacing in-room sinks and medicine cabinets with vanities and improvements to the windows in each room.
Hostetler said that these projects in particular would benefit from the extra time because they requires changes to be made in each room as opposed to past projects that mainly involved changes to the building as a whole.
Huston was last renovated in 2012 to install new air conditioning units, redo the entryway and update the kitchen.
The college had recently requested a $65,000 renovation grant from the Huston Foundation before plans to close Huston for the year were established.
Executive Assistant to the President Margie Legg said that after these plans were set, the college revised their original request and asked the foundation to consider one of three grant requests: $65,000, $100,000 or $120,000.
Hostetler said they have not heard back from the foundation yet but are hoping to by mid-May.
The Huston Foundation funded the original building of the Huston and also provided $100,000 for the renovations that took place in 2012.
Hostetler said his hope is that donors will see the efficient improvements made to Huston and be prompted to give toward the improvement of other residence halls that do not have a foundation likely to fund them.
“I would love to see Huston improve from where it’s at, but I would also love to see it act as a catalyst to improvement of the other older dorms. . . .I would love to be able to do Arnold and Long,” said Hostetler.
He said Huston is scheduled to reopen Fall 2015.
Shetter said that Huston’s closing has called for a slight decrease in resident life staff, including a drop from five to four RDs and 27 to 25 RAs.
According to Delozier, none of the RAs that were already hired to work in Huston next year before the closing was announced were fired and have been assigned to other projects.
The closing of Huston will require that the first floor of Long Hall, currently a men’s residence hall, be used to house female students.