The University of Dayton will renovate Founders Hall, the oldest residence hall on campus. Although construction on the elevator shaft will begin next month, Founders Hall will undergo renovations this summer starting May 6.
According to Beth Keyes, vice president of facilities management, the Founders renovation is the final phase for renovating first- and second-year student housing buildings, such as Marycrest Complex, Virginia W. Kettering Hall, Stuart Complex and Campus South.
“Incoming freshmen and current students should expect Founders to have a new look with new restrooms, carpeted rooms, no window AC units and nice closets,” Keyes said. “An accessible entrance and new elevator shaft will be added on the courtyard side on the east elevation.”
According to Keyes, UD will spend an approximate $10 million for the Founders renovation, which is expected to be finished in August. In addition to the interior, Keyes said exterior work will also be done.
“New trees and landscaping will be part of the project,” Keyes said. “There will be an aesthetically improved courtyard as part of this renovation as well as a new, fenced-in mechanical yard for new HVAC equipment.”
Although Founders rooms are considered the smallest of the three freshman housing buildings, the room sizes will remain the same.
Keyes said that the wardrobe wall that divides the rooms will be removed and a new wall will be built in its place with built-in wardrobes. According to Keyes, Founders currently has two of these rooms built and being lived in now.
In addition, Founders will also undergo renovation on the building’s bathrooms, showers and heating and cooling system. Showering rooms will still contain six showers per room and window air conditioning units will be terminated.
“All new heating and cooling will be added and the bathrooms will be totally renovated similar to Marycrest and Stuart,” Keyes said.
Although Founders Hall will have a new look and feel for incoming freshmen next season, some students are both bitter and excited about the changes.
Brooke Scollin, a sophomore pre-medicine major, said she is happy that UD finally decided to renovate Founders, but feels freshmen will become disconnected with stories of Founders from upperclassmen.
“It will just be funny when we tell stories of the old showers, like the shower head falling off and stuff like that,” said Scollin. “When I lived in Founders my freshman year you couldn’t get into the bathroom stall doors, they were so tiny!”
Danielle Mitchell, a sophomore accounting major, said Founders was a big part of her freshman year and that incoming freshmen will enjoy the benefits it brings along with the changes.
“It [the renovations] makes our memories much more special because I think the old Founders will be more of our generation,” Mitchell said. “Plus, I know the new freshmen will appreciate those new bathrooms.”
Keyes said that administration is currently in the process of ordering parts and materials for the renovation. If construction goes all according to plan, incoming freshmen should expect to newly renovated building to kick off the start of their college careers.
“I appreciate the renovations, but I’m going to miss the old Founders. It makes our memories so much more funny,” Scollin said. “Yeah, it’s tiny, but the new freshmen will be getting a whole new Founders experience.”