As a high school senior, you take several things into consideration when you are finalizing your decision about what university you want to attend. You go over the list of majors offered by the university, check out the cafeteria to make sure that it is up to par and probably the most important thing is to check out the dormitories. Incoming freshmen want to know what their living situation would look like for whatever university they choose to attend.
Our campus is architecturally beautiful and has been around for many years. Over the past four years, ACU has received some pretty incredible renovations such as the Halbert Walling Center, Wildcat Stadium and the Nancy and Ray Hansen Reading Commons, just to name a few. Residence halls will hopefully be the next buildings on campus to receive some renovations.
Ryan Randolf, resident director of Barrett Hall, said the resident directors have big aspirations for what they plan to do with renovating residence halls. She said that one of the purposes of the student focus group for residence halls is to hear what students need for their living experience here on campus.
“We don’t necessarily want to build trends into our amenities, but we want to do our best in providing what students need,” Randolf said.
There was also a focus group that was held among all of the resident directors, and they agreed upon a need for better intentional spaces. Residence Life has done a great job of working with what they have but Randolf said they shouldn’t have to.
“For what our students are paying to come here and live here, these spaces should be intentional and relevant to their living needs,” Randolf said.
Randolf also shared that the resident directors wanted to make sure that the lobby areas and kitchen makes sense for the building. A good example is Dillard Hall.
“Dillard Hall has an exquisite kitchen space, but it doesn’t make sense to have that big kitchen space that draws the focus of the lobby when everyone who lives in that building has a kitchen,” Randolf said.
The renovations would not just focus on the exterior of the buildings, but with the interior as well, especially with the furniture. In most of the halls, there are two things that occur with the furniture. Either the furniture looks really nice and modern but is not the most comfortable to sit in, or the furniture does not look presentable and rugged but is more comfortable. There is an emphasis to make sure that furniture selected for the furniture not only looks good, but also works well and is comfortable.
When asked when renovations would progress, Randolf shared that the desire of Residence Life is to hopefully start breaking ground in the summer of 2020. She believes that renovations that happen on the dorms will definitely help with the recruitment of prospective students. She said she is very excited about the brainstorming and research that has taken place with her and the fellow directors.
It will be interesting to see what innovating ideas will be brought into the residence halls for the coming years and to see how Randolf and the other directors follow through to make living spaces more relevant and intentional for future residents.