Renovations: A New Kind of Old?

     Having lived in both Kea and Guffin in back-to-back years, I can safely say that the two oldest dorms on campus were in desperate need of renovations. Now, more than a month into the still-ongoing renovations, I can safely say it still feels in need of renovation. Most people would be satisfied that their dorm had any sort of attention, but it seems as though almost special care has been put into making sure that, although everything is new, it seems almost exactly the same. Instead of addressing the problems that are the most striking, they have fixed problems no one has noticed. The ancient carpets in the dorm halls have been replaced with ancient-looking carpets. The beige walls have been repainted…beige. Various stairwells have been closed off to put in the new, almost identical flooring, making KG (almost) as difficult to get through as Doane was. The only dorms left on campus with key code entry have been replaced…with new key code entry doors. Guffin still needs a full-scale renovation, now being the only dorm on campus without air conditioning.

     The Breezeway renovations are equally as puzzling, including a new temporary wall, smaller drinks in the Breezeway meal (but they can be refilled once for free) and the movement of the checkout island directly into the flow of traffic. In fairness, the actually interesting renovations in the Breezeway have yet to begin (which will include new TVs, tables and chairs), but the proposed plans have left KGvites wondering exactly how well the dimensions line up with reality, as the projected pictures do not exactly line up with how we see it now.

     Reactions toward the Jammin’ Java renovations have been mixed. Some miss the cozy, intimate coffee shop feeling, while others are thrilled with the new furniture and openness. Some of that intimate feeling might also come back once the doors are replaced as planned, which should also keep more of the warm air inside. The same mixed reactions can be said of Walton Lounge, although the future there is considerably brighter, just like the lights in the new Jammin’ Java. While the new furniture is nice, we will have to see what the new floor looks like; we hope they don’t put down the same movie theater carpet there.

     All in all, it has taken us all a little time to warm up to the “new” KG and JJ, but it is heartening to know that the administration has heard our concerns about the states of these buildings. While we may be disappointed with what has (or hasn’t) changed and the constant slight inconveniences have added up, it’s still refreshing to know that someone is listening, and this is definitely a step in the right direction, especially if all of the projections come true.

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