Feb. 11, 2008

A new look for a new year at residence halls

renovated residence hall roomWhen the renovated Shuttles Hall reopened last fall, students affectionately dubbed it “Hotel Shuttles,” says Shelby Justl, president of the Shuttles Hall Council.

“Everyone liked the nice big rooms, tall ceilings and cable television,” says Justl, a sophomore history major. In addition to new rooms and baths, the hall’s entryway was extended to create common areas on each of the four floors as well as create space for a new elevator lobby and open staircase.

Shuttles was the first of four SMU residence halls to be renovated as part of a $29 million project. Peyton Hall and Mary Hay Hall renovations were completed in January, and Boaz Hall will be renovated before the fall 2008 term. The halls were gutted to their outer walls and rebuilt to replace aging infrastructure, as well as to meet student technology needs and the Americans with Disabilities Act standards for residence halls.

“Students at all universities want more amenities,” says Susan Strobel Hogan, assistant director of resident life and student housing. “They also want a homey feel.”

In addition, students today are more likely to request single rooms, she says. The number of single rooms in the four halls has increased from nine to 80.

Although physical surroundings have changed, the goal of university residence life remains the same.

“We know that not all learning takes place in the classroom,” Hogan says. “Residence life is designed to help students develop and mature.”

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