South Halls Renovation Would Displace Students and Sororities
Just when you thought Penn State couldn’t possibly be doing any more construction on campus, I am here to tell you that plans for more renovations starting as soon as this May are in the works. South Halls will be undergoing a face lift, should the Board of Trustees approve the renovation plans in January. If and when they approve, construction will begin with Haller Hall, starting May 2012 until August 2013. Here’s a breakdown of their plans:
As mentioned before, Haller Hall is the first hall to be renovated, which means Gamma Phi Beta (Gamma Phi), Chi Omega (Chi O) and Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) will all be placed in another dorm hall somewhere in South next year while the construction is going on. Which hall is yet to be determined. Haller Hall will not be torn down however, just gutted.
Each dorm hall will have the same number of floors that they have now (Haller has four) but each building will either be completely Greek or completely independent. Renovation changes that affect both Greeks and independents include:
- Air conditioning
- Wireless internet
- One RA per building
- Carpeted halls and rooms
- Modular furniture, which will allow for total room rearrangement
- New bathroom configuration, consisting of 4-5 single bathrooms that include a toilet, sink and shower.
Changes that affect only sororities, include:
- Suites will now be located on the sorority’s floor, not on the first floor of the dorm hall. Sororities will be able to choose the color scheme, paint and flooring for their suite and have the option to pay extra for more extravagant details such as marble counter tops, the sorority’s crest painted on the wall, etc.
- The suites will have functioning kitchens, fitted with all new appliances.
- Each chapter will have a storage area on the ground floor.
- Each hall will have a chapter meeting room, which each sorority can reserve and hold their chapter meetings in so they no longer have to hold it in their suite. The room has an occupancy of 125.
- On the ground floor there will be a chapter adviser apartment that each sorority may also reserve to house their chapter advisers when they come to stay.
- The floor will house 27-32 beds, meaning they will hold even fewer girls than they do now. The hope is that living on the floor will become a privilege within the sorority.
- The sorority’s housing chair position will also become a paid position, that can only be held by someone who has interviewed with and been approved by Residence Life.
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Group projects should be a bit more bearable after a recently-completed $17.3 million renovation of the Pattee Library.
Pollock Commons’ convenience store will open under a new name starting August 23.
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