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Renovated Dorms Open to Rave Reviews

Date: Oct. 2, 2000
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Archive: Campus News

image of Siddall dorm room

Students at Siddall Hall are living in a cleaner, more modern-looking environment, with $800,000 worth of renovations to all 264 rooms which contain 484 bedroom units. Before the upgrade, the mid-1960s furniture was nearly 20 years older than the average freshman who moved into the women's dorm this year.

The work didn't begin until mid July because the facility was being used for summer school, camps and conferences. The carpenters, electricians, air quality technicians, plumbers, painters, maintenance employees and the housekeeping staff worked diligently to get Siddall up to date in time for students to move in. All work is expected to wrap up this week.

image of Siddall dorm room

The project was led by Don Connley, director, Maintenance and Operations West, UC Facilities Management and Dawn Wilson, director of Resident Education and Development. Connley says the project was a huge undertaking to complete in such a short period of time. The old furniture, a cabinet, desk and student vanity, were attached to the wall and it all had to be ripped out. "The electrical boxes had to be converted to duplex outlets because the wiring had been directly wired to the old furniture," said Connley.

"After removal of the old furniture, the walls had to be plastered and painted behind each unit because the unused wall areas were unfinished," Wilson continued. "The floor was also unfinished under each of the old units, so we had to lay new floor tile. Then we put in new light fixtures in each of the women's rooms." Connley added that the fixtures in the halls will be replaced as well, and some of that work continues.

Once they got the old wall units ripped out, it was time to get rid of the beds. The old rooms had the metal framed bed and mattress. Now they have two different styles of wooden bed furniture, two to a room: a high loft and a junior loft. Different rooms have different combinations of bed furniture. The rooms also hold a wardrobe, three-drawer chest and desk for each student.

Wilson says the cost of the furniture alone amounted to $650,000. The end result not only left the rooms looking more modern but also with a richer, warmer feel, thanks to the light wood furniture over the old metal.

Roommates like Shannon Brown, a freshman from Somerville, Ohio and Marianne Certo, a freshman from Bedford, Ohio, get to enjoy the end result. When Connley first approached the project, he thought the students might want furniture they could move around and he was right. "I moved in the first day (Sept. 14) and when I first saw the room, I thought it looked kind of tight," said Brown. "We moved the furniture to make more space."

image of Siddall dorm room

A roommate is a new experience for Brown as well. Before she left home for college, she had a room to herself. "I've previously shared a room with an older sister, but this is the first time I ve lived with a stranger," said Certo.

The women have lived together just over a week, because Brown headed home the weekend before classes started. However, despite their short time together, they're becoming fast friends. "We went to her (Brown's) brother's birthday party the other day and her family was saying to me, "Okay, we're going to adopt you now," said Certo.

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