Aug 242009
 
Authors: Vince Crespin

After expenditures of $2.5 million and a full summer of construction, one of CSU’s oldest residence halls welcomed its residents into newly refurbished halls and rooms last weekend.

With nearly 35 years of wear and tear on its furniture, fixtures and appliances, Braiden Hall was long overdue for the upgrades, said Brian Chase, the director of Facilities Management.

“Every year, several dorms have money put aside to redo several floors in the buildings by Housing and Dining Services. It’s something that each hall needs done, and Braiden, being one of the oldest and not having seen renovations on this scale since it was constructed, was the one that received the most changes,” Chase said.

Housing and Dining Services raised the money for the renovations by taking out public bonds –/part a nearly $400 million bond package that CSU borrowed

from Wall Street last summer.

Upgrades to Braiden include a complete overhaul of the kitchen and dining area, new furniture, larger sinks, new private meeting rooms and new carpet.

Corinna Giles, a sophomore Key Plus student who is living in Braiden for a second year, said there is little to compare between last year’s rooms and the new ones.

“It’s great,” she said. “Almost everything is better than it was last year. The loftable beds seem much safer. Last year’s beds felt like they could have collapsed any second.” She added that the news beds are “way bigger” and, unfortunately, take up more space in the room.

“I do kind of wonder though if some of the other halls could have used some upgrades too, instead of Braiden getting all of these upgrades at once,” Giles said.

First year communication studies student Alexa Zafarana said she had no complaints when she saw the upgrades first hand.

“Everything was beautiful. I came to a preview my senior year and saw the rooms and they looked pretty old,” she said. “I especially saw the difference when I caught a glimpse of some of the other dorms’ furniture and stuff. You can just see the difference.

While many students said they like the renovations, Douglas Yeboah, another Key Plus student and sophomore construction management major, said he felt the money could have gone to more useful things.

“I’ll admit it looks good, but the stuff that was here last year was fine too. College is about studying and working hard. You don’t need new desks, beds and carpet to do that,” he said. “I’d much rather they keep the money they used and use that to keep the tuition the same instead of raising like they did, or use it to offer more scholarships instead.”

Whether the changes were welcomed by students or not, the Key Communities Director Tae Mosaka said she thinks the change is positive in many aspects.

“The improvements made are fantastic. The whole building looks better and I feel it will provide more opportunities for students,” Mosaka said.

She said one of the most important renovations is the expansion of the dining area. Because of Braiden’s close proximity to the academic buildings, Mosaka said the dining hall attract hordes of students looking to eat somewhere close to their classes. However, the small size of the old cafeteria limited the number of students who could eat at one time, an issue she said the expansion would hopefully solve.

In addition to the renovations, the furniture selected for the dining area is constructed from recycled materials in a continual effort to stay with the green theme of CSU, she said.

Staff writer Vince Crespin can be reached at news@collegian.com

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