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Eagle Hall ready in time for grand opening

Eagle Hall, Eastern’s newest dormitory, held its grand opening on Saturday Aug. 25 despite the construction still taking place on the exterior of the building.

“We’re just very thankful that it’s finished in time for students to move in,” said Carl Altomare, executive director of campus services and Eastern’s chief representative in the building process.

On Aug. 16, Radnor Township gave the okay for the building to be occupied. Original move-in dates for RAs were pushed back to Aug. 21 while construction workers scrambled to finish details on the interior of the building.

Emergency housing plans did have to be implemented for several other early arrivals, mainly athletes required to be on campus early for sports practices. By Thursday, Aug. 23, all students were allowed to move into Eagle Hall.

Plans for construction on Eagle Hall were unorthodox to typical construction projects in that no official date was set for its completion.

“The hope was to get it finished as early in August as possible,” Altomare said.

Aug. 25 was set as the projected day for completion on the paved areas around Eagle Hall in order for first-year move-in to not be delayed.

What was supposed to be done is done, according to some. As of Sunday, scaffolding still stood along the east and west wings of the dormitory while the interior was bustling with students.

Altomare described the construction of both Eagle Hall and the adjacent academic building as being a last-minute project. The treads on the main staircase were not actually laid until Friday night.

RAs were still required to inspect individual rooms for damages or defects despite everything being new. On move-in day, there were minor imperfections discovered in some rooms, including tile and carpet problems and scratches on the walls.

“It’s not the best case scenario but for the most part, the lounges, the halls, the rooms are safe,” said Bettie Ann Brigham, vice president of student development.

Plans are for construction to be completed as soon as possible with landscaping last on the list of things to do. The attention will then be switched to the academic building, expected to be completed by early November. Until then, students will have to live with construction still going on around them.

“We are making an effort to ensure that the job site is safe and gets done,” Brigham said.

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