When the on-campus apartment list was released on April 15, students who could not claim one of the larger residential spaces quickly noticed that one of the current apartments was missing.
The apartment in Guffin Hall, located beside the Breezeway kitchen will officially not be used as residential space next year, according to Director of Housing Leah Mulhearn.
Instead the area will be transformed into what is being called a “student space,” however no definite plans have been made.
“Our desire is to do something with that space in the coming year,” Student Activities Coordinator Paul Daigle said. Daigle’s office is helping to oversee the development of the new space. “We’re planning to do something that expands that space so that there’s the Breezeway and then additional space.”
While some students are upset about the removal of one of the already limited apartment options, Daigle said it came down to being four beds versus a space that could serve many more students.
“In multiple areas, whether surveys or other focus groups, it just kept coming up that there’s not enough space for students to hang out,” Daigle said.
Mulhearn agreed. “We’re always looking for creative ways for students to have more space,” Mulhearn said.
Future long-term plans for more student space are still in the works, but the Guffin apartment transformation was a way to help solve the problem now, especially with the residential requirement for students, Daigle said.
Daigle has submitted a fairly large proposal to administration, but no decisions have been made yet. Likewise, no time frame for construction has been set because the current space cannot be assessed until the current residents move out. There are currently two plans being considered: one that keeps the walls the same and one that would move them, if the building’s architecture allows.
“The desire is that something’s there come the fall,” Daigle said. However, since the apartment was previously reserved by Eastern’s conference program for the summer, the start date of the project is still in the air.
“No matter what, it will be better than what we have now,” Daigle said.