Residence hall gets summer makeover

Residence hall gets summer makeover

by Hannah PickettStaff Writer

Step foot in Picken Residence Hall and you’ll see that it has undergone an interior makeover. Over the summer, the residence hall received renovations and upgrades.

“Some were structurally necessary,” Luke Behaunek, director of Residence Life, said. “Others were just aesthetically pleasing.”

Between May and August, Picken underwent an internal face lift. All of the bathrooms were re-done, the hallway carpet was replaced and the walls were painted in certain areas. In addition, the first floor north lounge now has new leather furniture and a new television.

But the renovations aren’t completed in Picken just yet. Behaunek says the lounge carpet will be replaced within the next month.

Buxton is next to see renovations. Carpet in the hallways and lounge will be replaced over winter break.

“Every year there are funds set aside for capital projects that are long-lasting projects for the college,” Behaunek said. “This year, that money went toward these as well as others around campus.”

Carpet and furniture were also replaced in five Simpson-owned apartments over the course of the summer.

Replacing carpet and furniture is part of the Department of Residence Life’s three-year plan, according to Behaunek.

“The plan includes necessary maintenance things, infrastructure of building, aesthetics, and improving standards of living of the building,” Behaunek said. “We’ll be re-evaluating those this year.”

Behaunek said that a lot of the projects in the department’s three-year plan are the result of student suggestions, and he plans on taking advantage of that during his first year as Director of Residence Life.

“I hope to have at least four open forums for the students this fall where I actually go to the residence halls to hear what the students want to see changed,” Behaunek said. “So, hopefully I’ll get some good feedback from those, and we’ll go from there.”

Other projects are determined on a schedule basis.

“The bathroom renovation has been in the works for the past two years,” Behaunek said. “That’s when we first noticed they were becoming an issue. The floors were warping a bit due to moisture.

“The residents definitely made their voices heard; and we saw it as a need, and it needed to be done. So we fixed it this summer.”

Behaunek said there aren’t many students that have noticed the summer upgrades because most of last year’s Buxton and Picken residents are living in apartments this year.

But, according to Behaunek, there are some residents that are very aware of the new touches.

“I think the new TV in the lounge is awesome,” junior Picken resident, Nicole England said. “It was definitely a long time coming. Last year we were lucky if it would turn on.”

Sophomore PJ Salais, a Buxton resident agreed.

“Anything Simpson does to upgrade the facilities we work and live in is a huge step forward to becoming a bigger and better Simpson, which not only attracts new students but also keeps the current students happy,” Salais said. “All of the renovations have helped both Buxton and Picken (become) more up-to-date and aesthetically pleasing to students.”

Next summer’s project upgrade list has yet to be determined, but Behaunek stresses that student opinions are taken into consideration

“They definitely have a voice, and we definitely want them to feel like they have a voice,” Behaunek said. “A lot of our projects will depend on funding for capital projects, which is why we are re-evaluating projects and buildings this year.”