Apr 162012
Authors: Taylor Pettaway

By May 31, Moises Padilla will be moving out of his longtime home in the Lory Student Apartments, but not by his own choice.

The Housing and Dining department has decided to tear down the Lory Student Apartments and renovate the Durrell Dining Center. The apartments will be rebuilt into a new resident hall, Academic Village North, in order to keep up with the increasing student population.

“At first I was sad, I have been here a long time,” said Padilla, a second year graduate student in student affairs and higher education. “But now I realize that it makes sense because [the apartments] are old.”

Even though parting from his home isn’t the best of situations, Padilla said people seem to be understanding of the circumstances.

“I think that most of the residents are just preparing to move out,” Padilla said. “I have not heard anyone who is negative or sad; it is the end of the year so everyone’s lease is up anyway.”

According to Housing and Dining Communications Director Tonie Miyamoto, the construction is helping to accommodate for the higher number of students that want to stay on campus.

“The [Lory Student Apartments] is not the best use of the space. By building 600 more beds on that site we’ll be helping students,” Miyamoto said.

In order to compensate for the 108 residents that are currently living in the apartments, Housing and Dining have given them the option to go to the University Apartments or Aggie Village with moving assistance.

To accommodate all of the new students that will be living in AV North, Durrell will also be seeing some changes.

According to Miyamoto, the new dining facility will have expanded seating, a deck, added student programming space and a living wall with thermal or solar panels.

“I think students will be very excited once it is done,” Miyamoto said. “[Westfall Hall and Durward Hall] will both get lobby renovations for programming space while Durrell is getting renovated. And all the other dining halls will have their hours expanded; for example, Allison [Hall] will now be serving dinner.”

Though there will be no dining hall for the next year, staff members at Durrell will be relocated to other dining halls so that no jobs are lost. Housing and Dining is planning on hiring more staff for the upcoming year to deal with the new hours at all of the dining halls.

“[Durrell] has been there for a while,” said Durrell staff member Julian Lujan. “I think that it will be really exciting to see what it looks like. It isn’t guaranteed that I will be back there [when it reopens], but I will be able to reapply to other halls.”

The construction for Durrell is scheduled to finish in June 2013, while AV North will be completed fall 2014.

Collegian writer Taylor Pettaway can be contacted at news@collegian.com.

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