Bullock Hall opened its doors to Residence Life staff and incoming freshmen this week after being under construction since September of last year. The hall is a co-ed residence hall housing freshmen with a total of 178 women and 54 men.
The building was set to be complete in the beginning of August according to original construction timelines, but due to a rainy spring causing construction delays, ResLife staff living in Bullock were temporarily placed in Smith Adams until three days before freshmen move-in.
“Because of how rainy the start of our spring was, they experienced some delays where they weren’t able to work on the hardscape like concrete work and other things that really pushed back their timeline a little bit,” Director of Residence Life Shannon Kaczmarek said. “We had a couple of meetings about 5 or 6 weeks ago where we really had to hash out ‘hey we know your timeline is tight and we know that things have been delayed’ because they had full days where no one could work outside because the ground was just too wet to get anything done. We knew we might have to use the week leading up to freshmen move-in to be able to get that building finished.”
Bullock Hall is the first building in the new push to create a Freshmen Village in place of the current freshman dorms on EN 16th. Kaczmarek said ResLife is excited to start this project and provide new, high quality living spaces for students.
“We really like the idea of building out a neighborhood, a space where our freshmen know that they’re arriving to and belonging to a space where they have cohesive experiences with other first year students,” Kaczmarek said. “That first year experience is so pivotal to our students coming out of their parents home and coming into college for the first time that that’s really where our focus is right now.
Bullock Hall is not just symbolic of the university wanting better housing for students; Kaczmarek said it’s symbolic of a focus on building community.
“[Bullock Hall] allows for them to have a co-ed community which is something our students have really been wanting and asking for for a long time,” Kaczmarek said.
The building itself, which has four floors each with co-ed lobbies for students as well as swipe access in halls and rooms, has excited students and ResLife staff alike about moving in.
“The community spaces are so nice and it’s for both genders, so they can meet up in any of the lobbies on each floor which we haven’t seen in any of the dorms before,” Alexis Gray, senior kinesiology major from the Bahamas said. I’m still unpacking like everyone else will and it’s kind of stressful because we have to get them situated and ourselves at the same time before school starts, but we’re making it work. We have great energy around us, and it’s worth it.”