By Matt Kyle
After a renovation of $41.7 million, Baylor University is moving thousands of students into their new residential hall.
The Ruth Collins Residence Hall was closed in more than one year due to renovations which began on May 20, 2022. Many students were moved into a nearby hotel and other dormitories.
The building facing the campus was remodeled to include a new space for community, such as a dining area and kitchen, plus more windows. The front entrance of the building was moved from Eighth Street, to Seventh Street. Tiffany Lowe is Baylor’s Director of Campus Living and Learning. The project included new flooring, updated plumbing and electrical infrastructure.
Lowe stated that Collins is a community with a rich history and many students want to move there. They want to move there either because their grandmother or mother lived there, or they’ve heard about it. It was a great experience to both preserve and modernize some of the history for future students.”
Collins – a student dorm nicknamed ‘Crusty Collins’ – has been undergoing renovations for a very long time. Collins will welcome 466 new women on Thursday, and the dorm is clean and updated.
Lowe stated that the capacity was down from 570 to 466 due to renovations. She said that if you resize bedrooms, convert them into laundry rooms or community rooms or any other space, it will result in about 10% of the beds being lost in a dormitory.
According to Baylor spokesperson Lori Fogleman, the renovations were completed in early August after 14 months construction.
The hotel, which Baylor had acquired in the fall of 2021 for a large and unusually large class of freshmen, was called “Cityside.” The contract ended in May.
Baylor started renovating Alexander Memorial Residence Halls in May. These halls are home to Honors Residential College. Plans call for the buildings to be linked with Carona Family Commons.
Fogleman stated that Allen, Dawson and Kokernot will also be renovated next summer. Fogleman stated that after the renovations to North and South Russell, Penland and Martin residence halls in 2016, Fogleman will be renovating all 10 of Baylor’s older residences.
Baylor will welcome more than 20,000 new students this fall, among them 3,300 freshman. The move-in started on Wednesday, and it will continue through Thursday.
Baylor faculty and students assist incoming freshman and their families with the moving of their possessions into their dorm rooms during this event. Over the past 21 years, this event has been a Baylor tradition.
The Baylor president Linda Livingstone wore a “Move2BU’ shirt and shorts that showed her scars from her recent renovation.
In June she underwent a double knee replacement, which allowed her to be ready for the move in.
Livingstone says she feels great and is looking forward to the start of the school year.
According to Livingstone, there are no words to describe how thankful I am for my physical therapist and surgeon who assisted me. My knees are feeling great and I have already reached the 4th floor in a couple of residence halls. Baylor’s family has shown me so much love, care, and support. I have also received many prayers.
The support we received this summer was incredible. We cannot thank everyone enough. “I am feeling great, and I can’t believe that we have to put those boxes inside.”
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