Cerina De Souza
Progress is finally being made to the once dismal appearance of the residential lounges.
Since the end of October, the lounges have undergone an extreme transformation, which includes new carpeting, freshly painted walls and resurfaced recreational equipment.
The greatest wow-factors are the new flat panel televisions.
“I like that the wall has been taken down and that the piano has been moved. It seems like there is more space since the renovations,” Danielle Baines, senior business administration major and Studebaker-Hanawalt resident said.
The clearance to make such changes came this summer when President Stephen Morgan asked a few administrators to take a tour of the campus to see the improvements that still need to be made.
After entering Studebaker-Hanawalt resident hall, built in the 1950s and Brandt resident hall built in 1962, it was easy to understand why cosmetic upgrades were needed until the construction of the new dormitories are completed.
There have been years of promises that construction of a new residence hall is in the works.
Office of Housing and Residential Life Director Byron Howlett has made several public announcements and has now stated the date for completion of the new hall to be the fall of 2010 or 2011.
The completion date can only be set once ground breaking occurs.
There is an approximate two year turn around rate for new dormitories to be created.
“Students are a priority and their living arrangements should be a secondary thought. Our goal is to make students feel like they are at home,” Howlett said.
With the command to upgrade the lounge areas coming on such short notice, a student panel was not created to contribute feedback.
Howlett reassured that student panels have been created for feedback concerning the new resident hall and the information provided at those meetings helped in the decisions made for the new cosmetic upgrades currently taking place.
In order to meet the needs of the students, an interior designer was hired to create an environment that was appealing to each specific dormitory’s residents needs.
Since Stu-Han is an all-female dormitory it was designed with a home-like feeling.
There is rich red carpeting and warm yellow walls. The new furniture is going to carry the warm feel to display an array of warm browns and greens.
The next theme was designed for Brandt.
Brandt houses both men and women and the lounge is large and open.
The designer created a scheme that would be appealing to both sexes, while keeping an underlining recreational spirit.
The colors chosen are an array of blues and greens and have hints of warm yellows and tans running throughout.
Lastly due to the image that the Oaks is for upper-class men and women, the designer went with a mature feel.
The carpeting has been switched to a gray and the walls are a warm yellow.
The furniture will continue the mature theme by having dark warm colors and patterns.
With Stu-Han and Brandt being the older buildings, those upgrades took priority and will be completed by the end of the year.
Once the two lounges are completed, renovations will continue in the Oaks and will be completely finished by the fall of 2009.
The next phases that will lead to the completion of Stu-Han and Brandt will be to re-carpet the hallways, matching the new carpet in the lounge areas, and install cable in all of the residence halls.
“I am pushing to get cable throughout the residence halls by the end of this academic year. The students have been waiting long enough for this,” Howlett said.
Although the improvements and future plans are great it is important to be patient and appreciative of all of the new changes.
Not everything can be done as quickly as one would like, due to the cost and the time it takes to order the number of items needed to complete the rooms.
Howlett revealed the financial aspects of creating such changes.
Each sofa costs between $800-$1,200, the new televisions were $1,500 each and the installation of the cable and the service will be approximately $25,000.
With all of these numbers being thrown about, you may be asking what is the bottom line for the students?
The answer is that every year the cost of living on campus increases and next year will be no different, especially with all of the changes taking place.
Future Stu-Han and Brandt residents should expect a housing fee increase of approximately 6 to 10 percent.
Eugene Shang explained that the University’s tuition and housing fees are compared to 26 other similar institutions and from there a number is reached.
That number is then approved by the board of trustees. In the end, the University of La Verne is usually ranked in the middle for costs of tuition and housing.
All of the future plans and current construction projects can seem annoying or confusing, but don’t fret.
All of the changes are increasing the value of the ULV diploma.
For more information about the future plans of the University of La Verne, visit the Campus Master Plan Web site at www.ulv.edu/masterplan/.
Cerina De Souza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.