Haggett Hall will reopen for the 2021-22 school year. The residence hall, completed in 1963, consists of two towers and was originally scheduled to be demolished this year. However, an increase in students wanting to live on campus in the fall motivated Housing & Food Services (HFS) officials to rework their plan.
Rob Lubin, director of facilities and capital development for HFS, explained that under the plan proposed by HFS in 2014 and approved by the Board of Regents in 2016, Haggett Hall was intended to sit vacant until its demolition, at which point the university was to build a new residence hall with the same name.
“It’s a similar reason that we've demolished some of the other residence halls and rebuilt them, because it's more efficient, less expensive, and we can provide students with a better quality of residential building with the kinds of resources that they want,” Lubin said.
About six to eight months ago, Lubin’s team anticipated an increase in students interested in living on campus in the fall following depressed rates last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Haggett Hall’s capacity, Lubin added, would help to alleviate the large waiting list for housing.Though an older building, Haggett Hall offers a lower-cost housing alternative compared to many of the newer residence halls on campus — a benefit of its reopening.
“You have a lot of sophomore students who never really got to experience the full freshman experience and living on campus,” Lubin said. “We're investing about $800,000 to reopen the building to provide enough housing for all students on campus who want it.”
State guidelines against filling triple and quad rooms to capacity during the pandemic were another factor in the decision to reopen Haggett Hall.
“Those [triple and quad rooms] are key to our systems to house everybody,” Lubin said, noting that the $800,000 reopening expenditure is not much compared to the cost of leaving hundreds of students unhoused. “We're still waiting for that [guideline] to be lifted. We anticipate that it will, but we don't know yet.”
One of Haggett Hall’s towers has been closed for two years, with some of its equipment taken for use elsewhere. The $800,000 investment will be used to replace these expensive parts, such as a hot water heat exchanger. Other work to the building will include maintaining fixtures, furniture, and internet connectivity.
Reach writer Huma Ali at email@example.com. Twitter: @humabali
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