New dorm emphasizes small community

New dorm emphasizes small community

New dorm emphasizes small community
April 10
00:21 2015

Julian Gill / Staff Writer

The new Rawlins Hall dormitory off Eagle Drive is beginning to take shape, and 487 honors students will be able to move in August.

Associate director of housing James Fairchild said the focus of the development was creating a communal atmosphere.

“There are a lot of places to be outside the room,” Fairchild said. “There was an emphasis on making sure that there are spaces for a modern residence hall, rather than most of our traditional residence halls where there are a lot of rooms, but not a whole lot of space on the wings or on the floors.”

The two-person rooms will share a bathroom and be divided into groups the developers call “neighborhoods.”

Each of the five floors will have three neighborhoods, housing about 45 male and female students. The resident assistants will be responsible for their respective neighborhoods.

“One RA for about every 40 to 45 students is a good ratio, especially for freshman, to be able to have interaction with each of the students on the floor without it getting too overwhelming,” Fairchild said.

He said three lounge areas on each floor fit up to 16 people, and provide ample room for leisure activities or large study groups.

Additionally, study rooms peppered throughout the building are equipped to accommodate smaller groups of up to four people.

“I know here, a lot of people go to our study rooms to study,” education sophomore and Honors Hall resident Allison McCarthy said. “I always do my homework out in the lobby because when I’m in my room I can’t focus.”

Janna Morgan, senior project manager for construction, said three students helped design Rawlins Hall.

“[The kitchen] was definitely something the students that participated in the project emphasized the importance of,” Morgan said. “Students really love to come together and cook meals with each other and share each other’s culture. That was something we really wanted to make sure we have here with a very large community kitchen.”

Rawlins Hall will also have a library, a billiards space, four music practice rooms and two multipurpose rooms for meetings or parties.

A fully furnished patio with wireless connectivity will sit in the back of the dorm, providing an additional space for collaboration.

Honors College marketing director Diana Dunklau said Rawlins Hall will be specifically for underclassmen, while Honors Hall will be reserved for upperclassmen.

“Typically freshman struggle a little bit that first year in sort of finding their groove,” Dunklau said. “Its helpful that honors students will have that academic community built in for them already.”

Integrative studies junior and Honors Hall resident Matt Guzman also thinks this dorm will provide helpful outlets for underclassmen.

“I loved having a semi-private room, but there are people in this dorm that I’ve never seen until the day they move out because they lock themselves away.” Guzman said. “I think they will be able to make friends quicker.”

Featured Image: A construction worker drives a tractor through the construction site of Rawlins Hall. File photo by Harris Buchanan – Contributing Photographer

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