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Lott and Barber Architects vice president Scott Barber explains to Housing staff the architectural process

Housing plans unapproved renovations for Langdale Hall

As of Monday, Sept. 18, the housing department began planning and approving renovations for Langdale Residence Hall. They are working with Lott and Barber Architects to draw up a blueprint.

“At this time, we are conducting a feasibility study to determine how much it would cost to renovate Langdale for a better residential experience,” Dr. Zduy Chu, director of housing, said.

Housing allowed current staff members to attend a renovation meeting and give input, since they’re more familiar with issues concerning the residence hall. Chu said their feedback would be used to help draw up a plan for Langdale.

“We felt that it would be important to have varying levels of input for this project because we know that there are different perspectives to take into consideration,” Chu said.

The main topic housing staff highlighted was changing Langdale from its current traditional style to suite style.

“There are students who would prefer suites,” Mark McNalley, assistant director of housing, said. “That way they can close their door and kind of stay in their room all night long.”

The suggestion came from students, who want their own bathrooms, and resident assistants, who revealed how dirty the community bathrooms can get. The current Langdale staff also advocated for all resident assistant rooms to have personal bathrooms instead of only a few.

Housing also suggested moving the Student Success Center out of Langdale, in favor of a multi-purpose room. Another possible plan includes constructing more study rooms and making all floors co-ed.

Vice President of Lott and Barber Architects, Scott Barber, said he’s going to use all the suggestions to make options for the building.

“I’m going to start tweaking and see what’s going to fit where,” Barber said. “I think I heard enough that I can take a first pass at everything.”

Barber said he is hoping to have part of the architectural plan drawn up to present at the next meeting, on Sept. 25. Currently, no changes are set in stone.

“We’re really afraid to rearrange this thing,” Barber said.

Although Converse Residence Hall has lost the limelight, Chu said both Langdale and Converse are being considered for renovation. Housing is currently discussing Langdale more because they are aware of how much Converse upgrades will likely cost.

“Converse is a much smaller building with fewer beds, and the renovation needs for that building are less,” Chu said. “We are working on Langdale’s plan and costs, then we will discuss what the next best step is for the university on both buildings.”

Chu said the architectural process will be six to eight weeks long, with ongoing meetings between VSU and the architecture firm. He also said VSU is expecting the project to cost several million dollars, but are unsure of the exact amount.

“Once we have a better idea of the scope of the project, we will discuss financing options and a timeline for what is realistic to start such a project which could be a year or two from now,” Chu said.

Barber said that renovations are likely happen in phases and would focus on one wing before moving on to the next. He said that there are too many students to redo the building all at once.

Right now, no plans have been cemented. Housing wants to make sure they don’t get anyone’s hopes up in case everything falls through.

“It could take a couple of years before we see the results of our work today, and that is normal,” Chu said. “It takes time for these type of projects.”

Written by Bryce Ethridge, News Editor. Photo by Bryce Ethridge.

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