Shipstad Hall is closing its doors for the 2023-2024 school year in order to make a variety of renovations.
Built in 1967, Shipstad Hall has had its fair share of structural problems in recent years, with flooding occurring in 2021, 2022 and even as far back as 2017. Additionally, the Office of Residence Life is looking to update the building with a new elevator alongside structural and aesthetic updates to make the hall a better place for students to live.
“Some [resident halls] are a lot newer than others,” Director of Residence Life Andrew Weingarten said. “I just think it's important and it's a good thing for the University to do something like this, to take the time to invest in some of the older ones.”
However, with the building closed for renovations during the school year, RAs, returning residents and hall staff who planned on living in Shipstad are being moved to other dorms and locations around campus. Current Shipstad RA Gina Del Chiaro was slated to be an RA for Shipstad Hall next year as well before being told about the renovations.
“I think objectively as a whole, I think it's really exciting for Shipstad,” Del Chiaro said. “I think it's about time, honestly.”
While excited for Shipstad’s renovations, it was hard not to return to the building where she had already been an RA in and had built such a community in.
“I think we all really loved the community there,” Del Chiaro said. “And obviously there's so much history in that building, also in tradition and just the people there so it was definitely difficult for everyone just to process. I think for some people they're still kind of processing.”
Besides burst pipes and the desire for a new elevator, renovations in Shipstad Hall were inspired by the upcoming two-year residency requirement introduced by the University for next year’s freshman class. The requirement for students to live on campus for two years encouraged residence life to look at the buildings offered on campus
“The University's construction plans are really driven by the needs of the structure,” Weingarten said. “The implementation of a new two year campus residency requirement for incoming students also just necessitates some structural and functional improvements to some of the residence halls to handle future demands.”
The current plans for the building will have renovations start once the 2022-2023 school year wraps up in May and is projected to be done by August of the 2024-2025 school year.
“We will be out of there and have everything closed up by mid-May,” Weingarten said. “It's nice because it will really provide, if you think about it, a good 14 months between then and opening it up again in August of 2024.”
Kate Cuadrado is the News and Managing Editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.