Troy University is home to “the new Ritz-Carlton of residential life in southeast Alabama.”
This is how one resident of the freshly constructed New Hall described the building, according to Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr.
With full-size beds and 42-inch televisions equipped with special satellite cable mounted in every room, the building can be considered substantially luxurious compared to the older residential halls on campus.
However, the provision of mostly private rooms at a relatively high cost also brings its own set of drawbacks.
New Hall consists of 316 private rooms, 30 double rooms, and 12 handicap-accessible rooms. The cost is $3,000 per semester for a standard single room and $2,600 for a double room.
There are also premium single rooms available for $3,250, which are rooms 2 to 3 feet longer than the regular rooms.
The male and the female wings are separated but with a joint common area available on the fourth floor. Each wing has its own tornado shelters.
According to Sara Jo Burks, assistant director of housing and residence life, the demand for rooms in the building has been high despite the price. According to Burks, “every room is full.”
“We did have a few families that, after they looked into their finances, they did ask to be moved to a less expensive room,” she said, “which is good because they looked at their finances before school started.”
Nathan McCroskey, a sophomore athletic training major from Montgomery and resident assistant in New Hall, said that positive notes include more privacy and up-to-date technology, which allows residents to learn in the today’s tech-centered world.
“Other residence halls could be considered obsolete by some of today’s standards,” McCroskey said. “Drawbacks are that while single rooms allow privacy, they also open up windows for problems that usually seem to get pushed under the rug, such as severe depression that can lead to suicide.”
Although there were plans to build a 3-D theater in the tornado shelters, the idea has been scratched.
“They decided to not get the technology because I think that they believe that it will be out of date in less than a year and also that it’s expensive,” said Jeremie Murray, a senior global business major from Panama City, Florida, and a resident assistant in the New Hall.
Murray said he had a conversation with IT workers about this topic.
“One gentleman said that if it works with the budget, that a nice 90-inch 4K resolution TV monitor would be ideal for tornado shelter,” he said.
Residents have already moved into the building, though construction work on the fourth floor remains incomplete. According to Burks, a study room area is being incorporated into the common room space as an afterthought, causing the delay in completion. The rear of the building, facing the amphitheater, is also unfinished.
“Some students have been unsettled about the mishaps of the building, but all in all everyone is generally in awe of the building,” McCroskey said. “Some have been concerned about room size and the affordability of the rooms.”
Ashton Prouty, a sophomore political science major from Spanish Fort who lives in the building, said that living in the new residence hall over the past week has been “worth the move-in delays, expensive cost, and technical glitches.”
“I think it’s a fair trade-off for a brand new dorm with full-size beds, bigger desks and state of the art technology,” she said.