Gilbert Hall renovations set to take effect


Christian Smith (left), Johnny Tran (left center) junior time arts majors, Alex Beach (right center), and Mike Lundgren (right) senior new media technology majors talk on the stairs of Gilbert Hall Tuesday evening.

By Matthew Frierdich

Plans to renovate Gilbert Hall are moving forward.

Gilbert closed its doors as a residence hall in 1995, at that time it started to house university offices. The building is set to open in 2013. The new Gilbert will be targeted to upperclassmen.

“We wanted to take the time to make it right,” said Michael Stang, executive director of Housing & Dining. “When Gilbert Hall was first dorms, they never put air conditioner units in the building and it wasn’t a 21st century building.”

The building will be the residence hall furthest east on campus, the closest to Barsema Hall and the art and music buildings.

Due to its proximity to art and music classes, rooms may be in high demand from students studying those subjects.

“I would definitely be interested in a dorm that is close to my buildings,” said Scott Carter, senior illustration major. “I commute, so it would be nice to be able to leave my car and just walk to my buildings.”

Official plans for the renovation have yet to be announced, but they should be finalized soon, Stang said.

“Things are still up in the air,” Stang said. “We are early in the design phase, but we have some general ideas on what we want to fix.”

The cost of living in Gilbert will likely be slightly higher than some of the other residence halls, Stang said.

“If I could afford it, it would be nice because it is so close, and I would definitely want to [live in Gilbert],” said Jessica Jackley, senior graphic design major.

Other recently renovated halls like Grant and Stevenson also carry higher price tags because they are new facilities, Stang said.

“Not only do we want to make it a new, nice hall, but we also want to plan for the future when we build this,” Stang said. “We are thinking, too, of what are we going to need for the future and do the best thing for the students.”

Gilbert is currently empty, with former dorm rooms bare, some in upheaval. Carpet is being removed and surplus materials, which will be used in the renovation, fill many rooms.

“I live in Douglas right now, and I would definitely be interested in living there,” said J.B. Borowiak, junior visual communication major. “The location would be really nice.”