New South To Receive $21 Million Upgrade
Dorm Renovations Scheduled for Summer
Harbin Hall got a facelift three years ago and now it is New South’s turn. The oldest of the three freshmen dorms, New South is slated to undergo a $21 million renovation this summer.
According to Karen Frank, director of facilities and housing, the renovation of New South will focus on the building’s interior. Although no major structural changes are planned and the basic layout of each floor will stay the same, bathrooms and lounges will be upgraded, flooring and carpeting will be replaced and furniture will be fixed or replaced.
“A lot of it you won’t be able to see, such as plumbing and electrical,” Frank said. “And hopefully we can do something to improve the external appearance too.”
New South, home to approximately 400 freshmen, was built in 1959. It is older than the two other freshmen residences, Harbin Hall, built in 1968, and Village C, built in 1986.
While New South has undergone routine maintenance, including the installation of new windows, the residence hall has never been renovated.
New South is only the latest residence hall to be renovated. Before Harbin Hall’s $15 million renovation in 2000, the university spent $14 million to renovate LXR in 1994.
“We have spent many, many dollars on renovating residences,” Frank said. “I have spent over $100 million in residence hall renovations since 1990. This doesn’t count new construction. This doesn’t count the Southwest Quad. This is renovating existing residences.”
If the renovations cannot be finished in one summer, Frank said the renovations would be resumed in the following summer.
“We just can’t afford to take an entire residence hall offline,” she said.
Additionally, Frank said that the university plans to spend $2 million to install new sprinkler systems in Nevils and Alumni Square.
Current New South residents say that the planned renovations are sorely needed.
“Yesterday I left my room and the hallway ceiling tiles were on the ground,” New South first-floor resident Alicianne Rand (COL ’07) said. Rand also said broken bathroom fixtures had caused whole floors to flood.
Although Rand’s sentiments are shared by others, some New South residents disagree.
“The rooms are just as nice in New South as they are in other freshmen dorms,” T.J. James (COL ’07) said. “New South has a much worse reputation than it deserves.”
A number of residents of other freshmen dorms, however, said that New South compares unfavorably to their housing situations.
“I would never, ever consider living in New South,” Scott Goldstein (COL ’07) said of New South’s current condition. Goldstein said, however, that his reservations would disappear if New South’s interior looked like that of his current residence, Harbin Hall.
Wilfredo Miguez (MSB ’07), a New South resident, said the renovations would improve the atmosphere and quality of life.
“We’d be closer to feeling like human beings,” Miguez said.
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