North Texas Daily

Redesigned residence halls will add space for students

Redesigned residence halls will add space for students

Redesigned residence halls will add space for students
January 16
10:24 2014

Edward Balusek // Staff Photographer

The UNT housing department is hard at work this semester expanding, updating and renovating Crumley and Bruce residence halls to better suit the students who live in them.

“Every opportunity to maximize the use of space in order to get freshman on campus specifically is the direction we go, and that everybody’s got a good place to live,” Assistant Director of Housing James Fairchild said.

UNT’s freshman enrollment has continuously grown more than 100 students annually from fall 2009 to fall 2013, according to the UNT fact book. With increasing enrollment, the demand to house the newcomers also increases.

Almost 400 new residents enrolled in on-campus housing this semester and the Housing department has been able to accommodate all of them without any overbooking issues.

All the male rooms are full but UNT has roughly 90 open spots for females, Fairchild said. Even though there are no male spots available, the housing department hasn’t had to provide supplemental housing for any students like last semester, when UNT had to house about 40 male students in a nearby hotel until the final student moved out in early November.

The housing department will be changing Crumley Hall from an all-female dorm to a co-ed dorm for the fall 2014 semester. Fairchild said that fewer students and parents make the request for an all-female dorm, and the requests become less frequent each year.

“It’s going to help us be a little more flexible as far as the types of rooms we can offer just because we have the ability to offer male and female spaces here,” Crumley hall director Aundrea Caraway said.

Although requests for all-female housing are dwindling, they haven’t disappeared.

“We will continue to accommodate that need with the way West Hall is divided in half with the men’s tower and women’s tower,” Fairchild said.

Another way UNT Housing is adjusting to the student growth is the expansion of the Bruce Hall cafeteria.

Students will be able to gather in the newly expanded space by the end of this month. Associate Director for Dining Services Shohreh Sparks said that, as of now, the closest estimation she can give for the opening is Jan. 20.

Upon opening, the space can accommodate up to 240 additional students and will also serve as a large meeting space for staff.

“It’s going to be great. We’re going to have more seating in the cafeteria and we’ve needed that for a bit,” Bruce Hall Director Josh Brown said. “It’s really cool, not just for the cafeteria, but for the building.”

Brown also said that he anticipates less traffic inside the lobby area of Bruce when the new entrance to the cafeteria is built.

Other upcoming housing-related changes for students will include the addition of ROTC and Residents Engaged in Academic Living (REAL) Communities, said Eugene Frier, the Residence Life Coordinator for Residential Education and Assessment.

A REAL Community is a group of students who live in the residence halls and share the same major or interest and are typically located in close proximity to each other.

Frier also said that Housing is looking into adding more common areas inside Clark and Maple Hall, transforming Clark cafeteria into a bakery, and building a new dorm aimed toward honor students.

Feature photo: The new entrance to the Bruce Hall cafeteria. The entrance sits to the left of the hall’s main doors and will allow for students to directly enter the cafeteria without walking in to the residence hall. Photo by Edward Balusek / Staff Photographer  

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