Photo by: April Irvin
Long-standing rumor holds that Troy University administrators have plans to renovate all-male dorm Alumni Hall “in the near future” by shutting down and renovating one wing at a time.
Senior vice chancellor for advancement and external relations John Schmidt, however, has dispelled these rumors.
“We recognize there are other needs,” he said in an interview about the new Newman Center dorms under construction.
“There are a couple ideas being kicked around in regards to Alumni.” Schmidt said discussions had included possibilities of razing and reconstructing the building, as with the new Long Hall project, or of renovating along the lines of what was done with Clements Hall or Bibb Graves.
“Something needs to be done,” he said.
“What that something will be, we don’t know yet.”
Schmidt went on to say that he didn’t expect any decisions to be made for a while yet, but the university was not forgetting the needs of students.
“In the short term, we’ll maintain Alumni,” he said.
“As far as a time frame, I’m not so sure you’ll see anything in the next 18 months. Student concerns are being heard, but we need long-term plans.”
Alumni residents have expressed varied opinions on the news.
One group in Alumni said they were disappointed with the lack of action.
“It needs to be knocked down completely,” said Marquis Myers, a sophomore computer science major from Fort Meade, Md. who has lived in Alumni for one year.
“They need a new male dorm. The living conditions here: it’s tragic.
“If I had to describe Alumni in one word, it would be outdated. Way outdated.”
As Myers talked, the group of residents surrounding him gave their own list of problems needing attention in Alumni Hall.
The crowd cited ants, roaches, mold, spider webs, stuck windows, broken screens, missing sinks, broken toilets and showers, small rooms, immoveable furniture, low-quality laundry machines and the lack of an elevator as issues plaguing the residence hall.
All said the biggest problem was the inability to control personal room temperature. “You don’t know what it’s like to have to change your sheets in the middle of the night because you’ve been sweating all night,” one said.
“It’s not a prison cell,” Myers said, “but it needs to be different.”
Three-year resident and current resident assistant James Brown acknowledged improvements could be made, but said he loved the existing building.
“Nothing really big needs to be done,” he said, “just maybe some touch ups like new furniture and different paint jobs, new windows and AC units with individual controls.”
Brown, a sophomore criminal justice major from Tampa, Fla. said the positives far outweighed the need for improvement, though.
“But Alumni is great for the community,” he said.
“When people said they were going to tear it down, I was upset, especially when I heard it would become like Trojan Village.
“Trojan Village is more solitary, and privacy is great, but it limits the community aspect.”
Brown said if it were up to him, he’d keep it largely as it is.
“When it was built, it was built to last,” he said.
“Until the building falls down, keep living in it.”