This past summer, the residence life team made renovations and improvements to all dorms across the Queens campus, including wholesale changes to Albright. Students should expect more of the same in the coming summers.
Amber Perrell, associate dean of students and residence life, says Barnhardt is top priority on the renovation queue for residence life. Initially, there were plans to renovate Barnhardt last semester and over the summer, leading to the dorm to be closed in the spring, but limited funding and time pushed back the building’s renovations.
Perrell hopes that Barnhardt will be completely renovated and additional space will be added to the back of the Health and Wellness building by the end of next summer. There are also hopes to make Barnhardt’s first floor more akin to that of Albright’s. Though this could mean potentially cutting into the space for Health and Wellness on Barnhardt’s first floor, the previously mentioned addition to the back of Health and Wellness would negate this loss.
The residence life team hopes that at some point Barnhardt can be turned into a living learning community for health majors. Its proximity to the Health and Wellness center makes it the most ideal dorm for such a living learning community.
Perrell says the residence life team also plans to turn either Barnhardt or Hall-Brown Overcash into a freshman dorm. In order to accommodate the large freshman class this year, both of the dorms have a mix of freshmen and upperclassmen. The year before last, Barnhardt was a freshman dorm.
Beyond next summer, the residence life team is eyeing upgrades to Belk, says Perrell. With recent renovations to Albright and Hayes, and with the renovations planned to Barnhardt, Belk will become the dorm most in need of renovations.
The residence life team is discussing more renovations, although Perrell can’t go into detail about any of them. With many of the plans contingent on funding, she doesn’t want to get students excited for changes the housing team can’t deliver on.
Regardless of what the team plans, residence life is flexible on what they work on to improve the housing experience for students.
“Let us know what you want to see,” Perrell said. “We don’t know what to do if we don’t hear from students.”