By, Nicole Fitzsimmons, Senior writer
In the fall 2023 semester, students will begin to have a new option for on campus housing in the newly renovated Horan Hall. Renovations are currently being constructed in the residence hall, including the implementation of modern new suites, common areas and updated facilities.
Craig Collins, vice president of facilities, explained the current plans for renovations.
“In Horan Hall, we are looking to rejuvenate the common areas and corridors on floors 2-11 with new contemporary finishes and lighting fixtures,” Collins wrote in an email to The Quadrangle. “All of the bathrooms will be renovated with tile floors and walls to create a more aesthetic appeal. We are converting all of the bathtubs in the facility to showers. New plumbing fixtures will meet the EPA’s WaterSense criteria and have been selected with the assistance of building engineering to help mitigate future maintenance concerns.”
Horan stood out to MC as a building due to be renovated. Because of the systems and infrastructure, the building is outdated but also provides a good foundation to start a project of this size and finish by the end of July before the semester begins.
“The existing building systems in Horan Hall are such that we can make these changes with relatively minor modifications,” Collins wrote. “We are installing additional electrical service, adding fire alarm devices and reworking plumbing to accommodate the new layout.”
Because the renovations are set to be completed by the upcoming semester, the Office of Admissions is beginning to spread word to prospective students about the new opportunities for on campus apartments available in a saturated New York City market.
Benjamin Boivin, director of undergraduate admissions, spoke about the appeal to new facilities and additions on campus that are more likely to attract prospective students.
“I think anytime a campus has anything new, whether it’s a new tree planted or a new building, or a new parking garage, or new food planning, anything that a college could sell, a new update to campus is always really exciting,” Boivin said. “Being in New York City, you know, post COVID real estate has gone back up and it’s expensive to get an apartment especially overlooking the skyline of New York.”
Boivin said that responses from prospective students and families have been positive as new images of the renovations begin to get publicized.
“The first day we had them in our admissions office in front of people who came to visit for group tours and one of the dads walked up to the poster,” Boivin said. “He was like, ‘gosh, these are just like a brand new New York City apartment’. It’s because it is. So I think that’s really good for us to hear that kind of feedback, because it means parents are understanding the value of living on campus. It’s not cheap, we all know it’s expensive to be on-campus, but the value you get out of it is like having a real New York City apartment.”
Students told The Quadrangle they are excited for the opportunity to move back into Horan post-renovations after a very tumultuous and difficult prior year on campus.
William Walker, sophomore communication major, was staying in Horan until renovations began and students were asked to move to Chrysostom Hall. Despite the chaos of this process he experienced in the midst of final exams, Walker is pleased with some new renovations in Chrysostom but is looking most forward to getting priority housing in the updated Horan building.
“I definitely plan on moving back there,” Walker said. “I work in admissions, and I went into work today and we had all these posters up with pictures from the rooms. The pictures of the rooms look really, really nice. So I definitely want to move back there.”
Collins wrote in his email to The Quadrangle that MC is attempting to best accommodate students in the process of construction and mentions some construction aspects that might interfere with campus activities, including construction in the Draddy Gymnasium parking lot at the rear entry of the Lee Hall building. Additionally, because Horan Hall will be closed during construction, students should plan to use the south side entrance to access the mailroom for the time being.
Currently, Collins references two projects upcoming in Leo Hall, one being a water monitoring project as a collaboration with departments of civil and environmental engineering. These projects are in tandem with Horan renovations and emphasize a current commitment to advancing and updating the campus environment.
“The goal of this [Horan] project is to enhance the experience of our students by upgrading accommodations as well as creating more inviting community spaces for students to interact,” Collins wrote.