Brown Hall continues construction with second part of renovation project

The $9.7 million Brown Hall renovation project is underway with construction currently focused on Phase II. 

Phase II of Brown Hall is set to be completed on schedule next summer despite some delays it has seen earlier this fall.

The project is mainly funded through student room and board fees, and according to Masha Struna, a Brown Hall community assistant, she has not heard students complaining about renovations or construction since the school year began.

“We didn’t have any washing machines and the kitchens weren’t completed when we first moved in,” Struna said. “We just had to work with what we had and adapt to the situation.”

All Brown Hall residents were given $10 of Hobo Dough as compensation for the delays. The laundry rooms were completed within a week of the start of the semester.

According to Director of Residential Life Jeff Hale, most students and community assistants inquire about what is being built and when construction will be finished.

“We can’t renovate without there being concessions,” Hale said. “The final product is only a year away.”

Renovations already made in Phase I have caught the attention of former residents, especially the renovated bathrooms. 

“I visited my friends and I really liked the new bathrooms and the fact that they have a laundry room on every floor now,” said Jacob Halldorson, a previous resident of Brown Hall. “I wish we had the same when I lived there; carrying laundry from the basement to upstairs was always a hassle.” 

Since living in Brown this semester, Struna now enjoys taking warm showers, saying the inconsistent water temperatures she would experience with the old showers always made her sick. She even requested a dorm transfer during her freshman year there.

According to Hale, the renovated bathrooms are what “students have been asking for.” 

The premise of Phase II is to create connections between both sides for the upper levels of the buildings. In addition to the connections, more restrooms and a kitchen are planned to be added to each floor along with an elevator and other essential utilities.

Phase III renovations are scheduled to take place during the summer of 2016. A central air unit for the building will be introduced instead of the current units that were installed in each room.

Hale is hopeful that more renovations to the current buildings will be done in the future.

“We are ecstatic when the university invests in us,” Hale said. “We are optimistic that this will help us in offering more to the students.”