After eight months of construction, Crispell Hall opened its doors to students on Aug. 22. The suite-style residence hall was the first out of the five at SUNY New Paltz to undergo the renovations.
Construction began on Dec. 23 at 10 a.m., when all residence halls (except for the 10-month halls) on campus closed for the fall 2010 semester, according to Director of Facilities Design and Construction John McEnrue. He has overseen the project since it began last December. When asked what kinds of obstacles were faced during the process, McEnrue said that timing was a major concern.
“The most pressing concern throughout the duration of the project was timing,” said McEnrue. “A project of this magnitude and scope normally lasts over a year. It was a gut renovation. We were able to finish the work in eight months, which is a major feat.”
Now, the residence halls are being enjoyed by many students. Priority was given to students who were originally living in Crispell prior to the renovations. After that, all students who said they were living on campus for the fall 2011 semester were able to try and gain spots in the newly redone hall, which proved to be rather competitive. The competition was not surprising to students who were signing up for rooms last spring.
“I heard that it filled up very quickly, and I know a lot of people who wanted to get in but weren’t able to,” said third-year communications disorders major Ashley Finger. “I wasn’t surprised. It’s a new building, it costs the same as all the other suites and also it’s closer to the Student Union building as opposed to another building like Bevier.”
Kelly Young, the community development assistant for Crispell, said that students living in the residence hall have responded positively to the new renovations.
“Students have been so great and absolutely love living here,” said Young, a current graduate student at New Paltz. “They love that the bathrooms are really nice and have two showers.”
The suites in Crispell feature three rooms for six residents, with some hosting a fourth room for a Resident Assistant, a common room and a bathroom. The common rooms are noticeably larger than the ones in Bevier, Lefevre, DuBois and Deyo Halls. Young said that students living in the residence hall have been pleased with the little things that Crispell has to offer.
“Something that a lot of students have been telling me is that they really love the floors,” said Young. “They’re laminated, but they give the appearance of hardwood floors, which is something that students here have really appreciated.”
Along with the refurbished rooms, Crispell has added a “movie theater” lounge, a new computer lab and washing machines that send residents text messages informing them when their laundry is done. The most popular change, according to both Finger and Young, is the kitchen.
“I really love the kitchen of Crispell, because I can actually imagine myself cooking and having people over,” said Finger. “It’s just beautiful and I can see myself utilizing it.”
Though currently a resident of Scudder Hall, Finger said that her first choice for next year is “definitely” Crispell.
“I just love what they’ve done to Crispell,” said Finger. “Next year, I’ll be a senior so I’m hoping that will give me an advantage when trying to get a room there next year.”
The plan for the school is to renovate all of the suite-style residence halls. The next hall to be renovated is Deyo Hall.