The brand new Stockwell Residence Hall boasts amenities one would be hard-pressed to find in other residence halls.
The computer lab’s giant monitor and Web cam and the atrium’s natural light enable Stockwell to offer a different type of on-campus living experience.
But for LSA sophomore Seena Tehrani, one of the first men to live in the formerly all-female residence hall, there’s only one change that really matters.
“When you come down the stairs to the bottom, it looks like you’re in Hogwarts,” he said.
President Mary Sue Coleman and other University officials cut the maize and blue ribbon to reopen Stockwell officially yesterday. The renovated residence hall, which houses sophomores, juniors and seniors but no freshman, was 16 months in the making.
“We’re celebrating the past and the future today,” Coleman said at the ceremony.
Stockwell’s renovation was part of Coleman’s Residential Life Initiative, a program that has included the construction of the one-year-old Hill Dining Center and North Quad Residence Hall, which will open next fall.
In addition to the physical changes to the building, the residence hall boasts two other major, new features. The residence hall, which has been all female since it was completed in 1940, will be coeducational for the first time. It will also house a new living-learning community focused on sophomores.
Joseph Varilone, a community center assistant who lives in Stockwell, said the Sophomore Year Experience program will address the “slump,” which is common for second-year students grappling with academic and social life questions.
“Through SYE, Housing has answered sophomores’ cry for help,” he said at the ceremony.
Linda Newman, University Housing director, said though it was a big change to welcome male residents to Stockwell for the first time, Housing officials were happy to do it.
“Students asked for it and we were able to give it to them,” she said.
Alice Berberian Haidostian, who lived in Stockwell from 1943 until 1946 and attended the ceremony, said the residence hall becoming co-ed doesn’t concern her.
“You just expect everyone to be gentleman and ladies,” she said.
She added that it was a different change that surprised her the most.
“No dining room? That’s the big change,” Haidostian said.
Another University alum in attendance, Pauline Walters, said despite the renovation, the building doesn’t look much different from when she lived there from 1947 to 1950.
“This is still as beautiful as it was when I first came here,” she said.
Newman said keeping the historical character of the building was a priority during the renovation.
“The juxtaposition of new and old embodied in the renovation of Stockwell Hall is part of the very character of this University,” she said during the ceremony.
E. Royster Harper, vice president for student affairs, called the renovation “a dream come true.”
“It is particularly fitting that we are celebrating the reopening of this residence hall that is so rich in tradition,” she said during the ceremony.
She added that she was particularly excited to reopen Stockwell a year after cutting the ribbon on the Hill Dining Center and with the knowledge that the grand opening of North Quad is only a year away.
“I am really having a moment here in time,” she said.
Varilone said he’s excited to call the brand new residence hall home, adding that he feels privileged to be one of Stockwell’s first male residents.
“It’s just a great place to live,” he said. “There’s tons of space to do whatever you want here.”
Tehrani said that while he’s happy with his new digs, he wishes there were a few more urinals around.
“I can tell a lot of the stuff was originally for females,” he said.