Construction on the North Residence Hall has begun and is the next step in the 20-year cycle for renovating Trinity’s residence halls. The residence hall will have a different layout than that of previous years giving each resident their own personal space but getting rid of the balconies. “There’s a student desire to have more residential-type housing, like a typical apartment. The buzz seems to be that everybody wants their own private space. The way North is situated with the balconies facing South residence hall, it was a premium candidate to give them individual quarters, because we had to take the balcony and absorb them into the living space to make them private bedrooms,” said Jim Baker of Facility Services.
Facility Services worked side by side with students to find what style would be best. “We had two or three meetings with various students. We discussed the balcony option. “˜Would you rather have the balcony or the private space?’ It was pretty unanimous that they wanted their private space,” Baker said.
Sophomore Cici Kent was equally as excited by the idea of personal space. “I think the room style might be more appreciated, since a lot of the kids don’t want to live on campus by the time they reach their junior year, so they will have their own room. Which is usually what people want.”
The new design has been created solely for personal space and not for large areas of lounging. “It’s the exact same dimensions as they always were width-wise and lengthwise. Of course, we took the balcony in. It wasn’t designed for luxury lounging, but it’s your own bubble,” Baker said.
Hopefully the layout will be beneficial to roommates who want to live together but just have different living styles. “I think a lot of it comes back with the sessions with the kids, and if they were trying to do homework but their roommate is watching TV, or, like most people, one roommate has an early class and the other does not. So one is up late playing video games and the other is trying to go to bed because he’s got class. So this gives you the same social environment if you want to be together but then you also have the option of going to your bedroom,” Baker said.
While there is much excitement around the new North residence hall, the construction has made things more difficult for students. “It’s really annoying. It’s hard to sleep, it’s really hard to study and concentrate every day because they are up really early and it’s just really distracting,” said Jorge Haddad, a sophomore living in Thomas.
Parking has also been cut down in the lot off of Shook Ave. by the third floor of Thomas Hall, creating problems for many Thomas residents.
“I had to park right in front of Mabee and walk 10 minutes just to get to my room. It’s horrible,” Haddad said.
Construction is said to be done by 2015 graduation and ready for the next group of juniors to take residency. After the construction of North is done, Facility Services will be taking a small break from remodeling residence halls to work on the Bell Athletic Center. “The Bell Center will put us in a little bit of a time crunch for the 20-year cycle, but I think we will make it,” Baker said.