The history of Hood College traces back to 1893, but staff and students in the 21st century aim to re-vamp the campus.
“I wanted to make sure that we had some more modern spaces, and new environments to help foster community,” explained junior student at Hood College, Luke Staley.
In the fall of 2016, an off-campus apartment complex ended its lease with the college, eliminating 150 beds. This sparked a ten-year housing master plan that included the prospect of a new residence hall on-campus.
“When we lost those apartments, we saw a significant drop in the number of students that live on campus. We want our students on campus. We know that students who live on-campus graduate at higher rates. It obviously contributes to the vitality of the campus,” explained Hood College President Andrea Chapdelaine.
Plans are made to tear down the Marx Center on campus to make room for the new 200-bed apartment-style residence hall.
The new hall will house the honors program.
And when it came to design, school officials sought out the input of current students during monthly meetings. Staley served on committee and was eager to provide ideas for technology usage.
“Integrating technology more into the dorms was a big thing. We have computer labs on each floor and more access to printers,” Staley explained.
The new hall will house two, three and four-bed suites and each of floor will feature study rooms and reading nooks.
Officials say a big focus was a kitchen and flex space.
“They talked a lot about having a kitchen where they could gather to make food. That’s something that this generation, they’re much more focused on healthy eating, those types of things. Flex space, where they could have yoga or a speaker, so that type of gathering space,” Chapdelaine said.
Construction on the new residence hall will begin in the spring of 2019, and is slated to open in fall of 2020.