Samuel P. Butterfass – [email protected]
Rising SJU sophomores and juniors may notice something new during housing selection next week. For the first time, triple rooms will be available to select on the first floor of Tommy Hall.
On Monday, March 27, funding was approved to create four three-person suites and a student lounge on the first floor of the hall.
The renovations are part of an effort to make first-floor Tommy more appealing to sophomores and juniors who will inevitably live there.
“Certainly, we hear students complaints about being on Tommy 1,” said Dan McAvey, Director of Residential Life at SJU. “Tommy has never truly been a freshman building, but there is still that sense from students that live on Tommy 1 that it looks like the rest of Tommy. So we wanted to make some changes so it doesn’t feel like the other floors.”
McAvey hopes that some sophomores and juniors will intentionally pick the triple rooms during housing selection, instead of making it a back-up housing option.
“[A suite] has a different feel,” McAvey said. “There are some suites in Bernie Hall that are usually picked by juniors, because they’re a nicer amenity,” McAvey said.
The construction will begin in June and end later that month. The lounge will be created by removing the wall between two rooms and between the rooms and the hallway.
The four suites will be created by cutting out a doorway in the wall between two existing double rooms.
“Right now all the lounges in Tommy are removed from the floor and you have to go up or down a half flight of steps to get to the lounge,” McAvey said.
McAvey said that Residential Life would eventually like to put lounges on floors two, three and four depending on the success of the Tommy 1 renovations.
Travis Christoffersen, an SJU sophomore, thinks it’s difficult to tell if rising sophomores and juniors will be receptive to the new triple rooms.
Christoffersen currently lives on Tommy 1, however he and his roommate didn’t intend to.
“Last year me and my roommate were getting it all together, and we missed the deadline, so we kind of got the raw end of the deal,” Christoffersen said.
Christoffersen thinks if people are afforded better options for living in Tommy Hall, that it could appeal to them. But, he’s skeptical that students will want to live in Tommy Hall for two consecutive years.
“I’ve lived in Tommy Hall for two years, and I’m kind of looking for something different,” Christoffersen said. “A lot of people who are freshmen live in Tommy Hall and that might be their same reaction to it.”
The creation of suites and the lounge will decrease Tommy Hall’s occupancy by 12.
Students staying on campus over the summer and living in Tommy Hall will spend the month of June on the short wing of floors one, two and three and then move to the long wing of the first floor when the renovations are complete.
Feature photo: SAMUEL P. BUTTERFASS • [email protected]