Gardner Hall will be demolished to create space for a new residence hall in a historic plan for new living spaces.
After completion of the new residence hall where Gardner stands today, Nelson and Sikes Halls will be renovated for the university’s “freshmen village” plan. However, a specific timetable for demolition and renovation projects are unknown.
“We’re still in the early stages of planning, but the hope is that the next phase would be Gardner Hall,” said Kevin Campbell, senior vice president for operations. “Our hope would be to demo Gardner and build new.”
After the completion of Gardner’s replacement, renovations for Sikes and Nelson will ensue.
“That would be the completion of the freshmen village,” Campbell said. “You would have four residence halls all on the south side of campus, and we would house our entire freshmen class in those four facilities each year.”
Campbell also said the residence halls will be renovated and built to properly segregate female and male living quarters.
Plans for Mabee and Edwards Halls are still in the planning process, but options such as “long-term renovations” and “upperclassmen living” are on the table.
Shannon Kaczmarek, director of residence life, said these plans aren’t just for style or looks.
“The goal in the part of this planning process is not to simply create new residence halls,” Kaczmarek said Friday. “We build and renovate residence halls to find better ways to build community.”
With most residence halls being older than many buildings on campus, Kaczmarek is pleased to see these plans go into motion.
“It really is dear to my heart,” Kaczmarek said. “I’ve been working at the university for a little over 12 years, so seeing this become a priority to the university is such a wonderful thing.”