Aug 192011
Authors: Justin Rampy

Steel I-beams and an exposed fourth floor will be perched atop Parmelee Hall for most of the 2011-2012 academic school year.

The north half of the residence hall will be closed to begin the fall semester in order to complete construction. After Thanksgiving break, students will move to the completed north half so construction can be completed on the south half.

“During room selection and assignments all applicants have been advised that the building is under construction and that they will be moving after Thanksgiving break,” Rick Pott, project coordinator for Housing and Dining Services (HDS), said.

Despite the significant cut to living spaces available, Tonie Miyamoto, spokesperson for HDS, said they will probably only exceed capacity by one or two percent, if at all.

“We have a large amount of flexibility in our system and we look to be right on target for capacity,” Miyamoto said. “If there are more students than we can fit in traditional rooms, we have overflow housing to take care of them as well.”

Overflow housing consists of placing students in lounge areas or study rooms.

Housing and Dining Services is confident they will house a record-breaking freshman enrollment for the 2011-2012 school year, even though half of Parmelee will be out of commission.

“This just means fewer returning students will be able to live in the residence halls,” Miyamoto said.

The new fourth floor of Parmelee –– Braiden Hall is scheduled for the same renovations during the 2012-2013 school year –– will add 120 living spaces with an equal mix of single and double rooms. It will also come with new study and lounge spaces for students.

By 2013, the university should have an additional 240 living spaces for incoming freshman and returning students in the residence halls.

“Right now, all we have slated are Parmelee and Braiden,” Miyamoto said. But since most of the other residence halls have very similar layouts, they are primed for the same type of project.

“The exteriors of the residential wings are receiving insulated wall panels with brick cladding along with new, high-performance windows,” Pott said, who is also involved directly with LEED certifying the campus. “This exterior revitalization will improve the building’s thermal performance by over 300 percent.”

He said the steel framework on the fourth floor could give visitors the impression the building is under construction, but work will have ceased to minimize disturbance of residents living in the floors below.

Work will only resume on the empty half of the residence hall.

Lastly, “the building roof load is designed for the additional weight of solar PV panels or hot water solar if they elect to add them in the future,” Pott said.

Despite inconvenience, some students are looking on the brighter side of the fence.

“The only part that bothers me is that they are rarely on schedule,” said Melissa Carlson, an RA in Parmelee. “I am, however, really excited to see the changes, and so far it looks really cool.”

Staff writer Justin Rampy can be reached at

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