The Jobe and Murphy residence halls will be closing at the end of the semester in preparation for renovations, causing the students staying there to find a new place to live.
The halls will be upgraded with new plumbing, air conditioning units, paint, flooring and furniture. Ellington and Warf Halls and M.S. Cooper and Pinkerton Halls have all been renovated and met with praise.
Instead of starting renovations at the beginning of the fall semester, work will begin during winter break when students have gone home. According to Andrew Moneymaker, Residential Life coordinator, there are fewer students in the residence halls during the spring semester than the fall.
“Usually we lose anywhere from 200 to 300 students for various reasons,” said Moneymaker. “It’s easier to take the students out of that building and place them in the open spaces we have in the other buildings.”
The renovations typically take six to eight months to complete, but because Jobe and Murphy is a larger building, this will be a yearlong project. One hall, unknown as of now, will open up in the fall while the other will open Spring 2016.
All 296 students living in Jobe or Murphy Hall are dealing with moving out of their rooms before winter break for the renovations.
“I think it’s a little inconvenient,” said Murphy Hall resident James Stackhouse, a freshman mechanical engineer major. “As long as I can find a place to live that’s not a hotel, it’s just a part of dealing with renovations.”
Stackhouse said he doesn’t think he received any email stating he would have to move out of his room and found out through hearing other students talk. However, he said he wants to go back to Murphy when it reopens.
“Ellington and Warf look really nice, so I’m definitely going back,” said Stackhouse.
According to Moneymaker, the names of returning Jobe Hall and Murphy Hall residents will be put on a randomized list and assigned a number. Whichever number they are given will be their waitlist number for a new room assignment.
At the start of the semester, 115 students were placed in temporary housing at the Cookeville Motel 6 and Days Inn because of the lack of available rooms in the residence halls. Senior interdisciplinary studies major Lauren Roach said she stayed in Motel 6 for one week.
“It wasn’t horrendous, but it wasn’t pleasant,” said Roach, who now lives in Crawford Hall. “I was mostly frustrated that, as a senior, I wasn’t allowed into the dorm right away and bypass the hotel completely.”
Roach said when she was placed in temporary housing in 2009, she was told she would be there all semester but was put into a residence hall two weeks later.
All 115 students were placed in residence halls within the first month of classes as the room assignments of students who didn’t show up or have dropped out get filled.
A kitchen will also be added to the upgraded residence halls, as well. According to Moneymaker, pots and pans are provided and can be used as long as they are brought back clean.
“Our goal is to get students to think of it as their home,” said Moneymaker of the residence halls. “As they leave for Christmas break, or leave for the summer, when they come back to campus, they’re telling their parents that they’re coming home rather than just coming back to school.”