After undergoing months of renovations, Baits II officially re-opened to the campus community on Thursday afternoon.

The University’s Board of Regents approved plans for reconstruction of the building last November, and completion of the project took about four months, Linda Newman, the director of University Housing, said.

Newman commenced Thursday’s re-opening ceremony in the Baits II parking lot by expressing the excitement of those who contributed to the remodeling of the residence hall.

“We are here to celebrate the opening of Baits II,” Newman said. “Or, as it’s now known, Baits 2.0.”

The renovations include a new community learning center with computer stations and large monitors capable of video conferencing. Each house has also been outfitted with new kitchens, furniture and lounges with various themes — including a café-style performance room, a piano lounge and an art studio, along with various music rooms.

Among the most popular additions is a movie theater in Thieme House that boasts a large projection screen, couches, and chairs, which can seat roughly 30 students.

E. Royster Harper, the University’s vice president for student affairs, gave a short speech at the event, in which she addressed the absence of University President Mary Sue Coleman, who is in Brazil on a University trip.

“We’ve not ever had (an opening) where she’s not been here,” Harper said. “She said, ‘I’ll be thinking about you guys, but I’ll be working hard in Brazil.’”

Harper continued to express her excitement about the renovation, which she said the University administration believes to be a “major” accomplishment.

“When I walked through last summer … I just kept saying, ‘Wow, wow, wow!’” Harper said.

Upon the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon by Harper and Bri Dumond, the Baits II resident director, a recording of “The Victors” immediately began playing, and the crowd began singing in unison.

After the ceremony, Harper discussed the University’s current goals for future residence hall renovations.

“Our students are so terrific, and they really deserve wonderful spaces to study and to be together,” Harper said. “What we’re trying to do is renovate all of them starting with our heritage halls and including Baits.”

Upon the closure of Baits I last year, University Housing spokesman Peter Logan said the University couldn’t justify spending the $6 million needed to renovate the residence hall.

“We realized that over the years, Baits I has not met the expectation of students … and to really upgrade those facilities would really require a lot more than $6 million,” Logan said last November. “… It’s really difficult right now at this point to justify spending a significant amount of student dollars on infrastructure and renovation for Baits I.”

However, roughly $12 million was spent renovating Baits II, and Harper said the larger expenditure is needed for more thorough renovations on Baits I.

“What we decided is Baits I is further away from Bursley, and it needed so much infrastructure — it was in physically worse shape than Baits II, not as close, and no matter what we tried to do, we just couldn’t get it to work so that students felt really good about it,” Harper said. “So we decided if we can’t really have an experience that we feel good about, then we’re just not going to have students there.”

LSA freshman Alec Lybik, a Baits II resident, expressed satisfaction with the new complex.

“The renovations are fantastic,” Lybik said. “My suitemates are sophomores and lived here last year, so they keep telling me how much better it is.”

Engineering junior Chandramouli Nagarajan, a resident adviser at Baits II, said the residence hall has changed significantly since he lived there last year as a community assistant.

“There are a bunch of new spaces that help a lot for studying and community building,” Nagarajan said. “I think the students are definitely more excited this year.”

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