By: Gabby Carlson | Echo
Bergwall Hall's renovations are finished. Beginning the last week of May and ending Aug. 14, the renovations were on a strict schedule in order to be finished by the time students arrived. Patio furniture still needs to be put in place and paintings still need to be hung, but the dorm is ready to house its 185 new and returning occupants.
The residence hall's immediate need was new plumbing. Previously, each dorm room housed a private bathroom. This caused consistent leaks and issues according to Scott Barrett, Director of Residence Life. The solution was community bathrooms, matching the style of the other residence halls on campus.
The second need in the renovation team's eyes was the main lobby, particularly adding a kitchen. This team consisted of Barrett, Bergwall Hall Director Kate Austin, a contractor and a design team. They worked together to provide a space students could enjoy. Previous to this year, Bergwall did not have a kitchen space on the main floor. Most residence halls do have a kitchen, and the team wanted Bergwall to have one as well, complete with cabinets, an oven, a bar with stools and a refrigerator.
"We've tried to be mindful of providing a quality space through which the residence hall program can really thrive. We think that having space that is cleanly and safe is really important," said Barrett.
In addition, a new patio sits outside of Bergwall's facelifted exterior. It is made of brick and will be home to a plethora of patio furniture coming soon.
The lounges on every floor have been renovated, with new flooring and recovered furniture to match the new splashes of paint on the walls. Bergwall received a lounge this year for the first time, whereas the main lobby previously served that purpose.
Julio Rodriguez, junior Personnel Assistant (PA) on First Bergwall, thinks the renovations will change the dynamic of residence life in the hall.
"I think it will definitely help. Having a lobby on First (Bergwall) creates more opportunities for people to get to know each other better," said Rodriguez.
Tyler Kempton, junior PA on Second Bergwall, thinks the larger room sizes will create a more welcoming and comfortable environment for bigger groups to interact as well.
Bergwall Hall has been home to thousands of students since its opening in the '90s. Barrett is encouraged as the project turned out better than what he imagined. After a brief hiatus, Bergwall Hall resumes being a home and gathering place where hundreds of Taylor students thrive.