Aging Residence Halls

Feb 242004
Authors: Christiana Nelson

Steve Rash’s desire to tear down Newsom and Ellis halls is

focused around access to more electrical outlets.

“Our rooms have walls that are just three inches on each side

and there are only two outlets per person,” said Rash, a sophomore

psychology major living in Ellis Hall.

While electrical outlets are high on Rash’s priority list for

improvements to Ellis Hall, he would also like to see air

conditioning supplant uncontrollable heaters, electric key

entrances replace old-fashioned keys and new game tables replace

worn lounge activities.

“I would say that the quality here is a little below other

residence halls, simply because they are tearing it down,” Rash


Ellis Hall and Newsom Hall will be the first residence halls to

be eradicated as part of the university’s 10-Year Physical

Development Plan to build new student living structures.

While Rash simply desires more electrical outlets and new

equipment, Mike McCormick, the new construction coordinator for the

Department of Housing and Dining Services, said the university

selected Ellis and Newsom halls for specific reasons.

“Newsom and Ellis halls were chosen for replacement

consideration because of their age and physical infrastructure

condition,” McCormick said. “While both have been remodeled and

updated over the years, the building infrastructure needs at this

point have reached a condition where replacement is likely a better

alternative to further renovation.”

While the timeline for the reconstruction of Newsom and Ellis

halls will not be completed until this summer, a new residence

hall, located south of campus on Pitkin Street, will be completed

by July 2004 and will accommodate students during the future

rebuilding process.

Director of Residence Life Mary Ellen Sinnwell said the

reconstruction will provide immense advancement for the CSU


“I think that this is an exciting opportunity not only for our

department but also for the university,” Sinnwell said. “I think

students will benefit greatly from the enhanced residence halls

being built.”

Cassie Beck, a sophomore political science and business major,

agreed that new residence halls would be nice but does not think

rebuilding is necessary.

“It seems like the quality is a little bit less than some of the

other halls,” said Beck, a Newsom Hall resident. “I don’t think it

necessarily needs to be torn down, the halls are not poor


Still, Jared Dose said as a resident of Ellis Hall he can

understand the need for student-housing alterations.

“Newsom is older and more outdated than the other dorms,” said

Dose, a freshman business major. “It would be fun to have nicer

bathrooms. The bedrooms are about the same size as the other dorms,

but the stuff is a lot older: the desks, beds, chairs and even the


As students are eager to have new food accommodations in their

dining halls, the land currently occupied by Ellis and Newsom halls

will likely feature several small buildings or building clusters

and new dining facilities.

McCormick also said there will be innovative ideas incorporated

into the reconstructed residence halls.

“A predominate emphasis on academic residential community

designs is currently being studied in the master-planning phase,”

McCormick said. “Integral classroom and faculty office space is

being planned within the residence buildings.”

Along with innovations, the new housing facilities will include

many improvements once completed.

“The design features of the new construction will probably focus

on suite type construction with a variety of single and multiple

room designs,” McCormick said. “We expect that the site will

include approximately 1,200 residents as compared to the existing


With the anticipated rebuilding of university residence halls,

Rash has only one statement concerning Ellis and Newsom halls.

“Tear these suckers down,” Rash said.

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