Arnold and Woodlee Dorms to Undergo Renovations

2 months ago Triangle 0
Woodlee Hall

Written by Amanda Davis, Family editor

DAYTON, TN – Benjamin Hendrich and Colby Dimock’s dividing dresser in their Woodlee dorm had finally fallen apart. In the space of one night, the shelves of their dresser that were attached to their desk bent so that the dresser was leaning on their desk and the shelves were falling out. “We’d move one thing, and it would shift, and then something else would break,” Hendrich said. Maintenance arrived early and tore apart their desk/dresser unit, replacing it by the end of the day. Starting next semester, those units will no longer exist.

The Arnold and Woodlee-Ewing dorms will undergo extensive renovations starting this summer.  The project will consist of two phases of renovations and a roughly 1.2-million-dollar investment, according to Tim Hostetler, the Senior Vice President of Business Operations and Finance at Bryan College.

Phase one of renovations, which will take place this summer, includes complete overhauls of the bathrooms, new flooring, and replacing all furniture in the dorms with movable furniture. Arnold renovations will be slightly different, drop ceilings will be added, new lighting will be installed, and the bathroom updates will be more extensive. Phase two will take place next summer and includes window replacement for Arnold, Woodlee, Long, and Huston, and minor infrastructure updates, says Hostetler.

The fundraising for the renovation project was almost entirely accomplished by donated money. Prices were divided so that donors could sponsor bathrooms, rooms, or suites. Suite renovations cost 11,000 dollars, bathrooms cost 5,000 dollars, and single rooms cost 3,000 dollars. “We had some alumni who stepped up and got together with their former roommates and said, ‘I’ll give 1500 dollars if you give 1500 dollars, and we’ll fund a room together,’” Hostetler said. Hostetler explained that they used this concept to raise much of their donor money.

Nicholas Pacurari, the Executive Director of Student Life, and former Resident Director of Woodlee, refers to the renovations as the “President’s Project.” Along with the Board of Trustees, Dr Mann has championed the renovations as something that could benefit Bryan students.  “What I really appreciated about Dr. Mann is that he wanted to improve the student living spaces as his first priority as president,” Pacurari said. “It hits home for him, both of his kids have lived in Woodlee and Arnold, he has lived in Woodlee, his wife has lived in Arnold, so he knows what the spaces are.”

Arnold and Woodlee have experienced minor updates since their openings in the 70’s and 80’s, but never a renovation on such a scale as this. Josh Watkins, the Resident Director of Woodlee, described listening to Dr. Mann during meetings concerning the renovations. “He said, ‘I walked back in Woodlee, and it looked almost exactly and smelled just like I did when I was a student here.”  Katrina Ingalls, the Resident Director of Arnold, was excited for the modern feeling of Arnold’s new furniture. “The biggest benefit is that it’s going to make the dorm look and feel a lot nicer, a lot newer, more modern.” Ingalls said.

Arnold Hall

Hendrich said “The one benefit of not having a big divider is that you can hang out with your roommate the more natural way.” 

Stephen Ricketts, the Director of Residence Life & Student Accountability, stressed the importance of making student’s dorms a welcoming environment. “These changes are for the students; we want them to feel like when they leave class, when they leave chapel, and when they leave the cafeteria to go back to their room that they are returning home and not to simply a square room,” Ricketts said.

Amanda Davis is a freshman communications major and creative writing minor at Bryan College. She is a Kansas City native and loves reading, writing and photography.