Columbia - On Thursday, MU opened the doors of the newly renovated Hatch and McDavid residence halls. University staff, students and parents toured the revamped halls and dorm rooms and glimpsed a vision for dorm living for coming generations of students.
“We wanted to move away from what people usually think of when they think of dorms,” said Jessica Brownfield, interior designer for Residential Life. “We want to have each hall have its own character, to be more individualistic.”
Hatch Hall•Located on the eastern part of the MU campus. •Houses about 520 residents. •Opened in 1962. •Named after Henry Hatch, who sponsored the Hatch Act of 1887. Other features •Contains a mix of 232 double rooms and 56 single rooms.
McDavid Hall•Located on the northern part of the MU campus. •Houses about 160 residents. •Opened in 1956. •Named after Frank Mitchell McDavid, who served on the Board of Curators. Other features •Art studio, art gallery and the Purple literary magazine. Sources: missouri.edu, reslife.missouri.edu
The newly finished dorms are the second of five phases in MU’s Residential Life Master Plan. Approved by the UM System Board of Curators in 2001, the plan is putting $360 million into construction and renovation of the campus’ 23 residence halls and student facilities.
Phase one was finished in 2004 with the construction of the Virginia Avenue Housing Complex; phase five is slated to be finished in 2018.
Students living in Hatch and McDavid will pay from $6,300 to $9,185 a year, depending on roommates and meal plans, and it is these revenues that fund further structural improvements throughout Residential Life facilities.
Hatch Hall, which opened 45 years ago, closed in the winter of 2005 for $18.4 million in renovations. Instead of balconies, the 520 new residents will have large windows, installed to create a more friendly and warm environment.
“A lot of students we talked to felt the rooms were too dark,” said Residential Life Director Frankie Minor. “We try to bring in more natural lights.”
A goal of both dorms was to create a more intimate atmosphere.
“We created more study places,” Minor said. “We’re focused on more student interaction.”
The renovated dorms have central air conditioning, are painted with brighter colors and feature more accessible community spaces such as expanded student lounges and study rooms improved by better lighting and soundproofing options.
Administrators also wanted to make dorm life more secure and accessible to people with disabilities. Both dorms have included elevators, state-of-the-art fire systems and security cameras.
McDavid Hall, which opened in 1956, was closed for renovations in May 2006, and after $6 million in improvements, will house 156 students this fall. McDavid houses the Fine Arts Residential Community and now will specifically accommodate its musical residents with five practice rooms.
The next phase of the reconstruction will occur with the reopening of Schurz and Bingham halls in fall 2008.
“These dorms will fit the 21st century student,” said Cathy Scroggs, vice chancellor of student affairs. “Maybe not all their wants, but certainly their needs for safety, privacy and technology.”