Katie Graves, Guest Contributor • email@example.com
Emory & Henry students residing in Stuart Hall were required to relocate to Wiley Jackson Hall by the start of the spring 2018 semester.
The college’s plans to renovate and perhaps repurpose the residence hall have now been put on hold.
Stuart residents received an email on December 1, 2017 from the Director of Housing & Residence Life, Lacey Southwick.
Southwick said, “The College has decided this is the best thing to do in light of a few maintenance issues that continue occurring, and this will give them time to correct those issues without inconveniencing students for long periods of time.”
Southwick also said she would do her best to keep roommate pairs together.
Residents were given a week to meet with Southwick to discuss two relocation options.
If residents chose to relocate to Wiley Jackson Hall, the College agreed to honor the same rate they would be paying to live in Stuart ( which is to say, $2,650 per semester).
If residents chose to relocate to a different residence hall, they would be responsible for the difference in price.
Some residents felt this added to the existing stress of final exam week.
“I was already really stressed out with finals coming up, then I had to worry about how I was going to find time to pack my stuff, meet with Lacey, and then convince my parents to pay extra so that I could move to Hickory [Hall] with my roommate,” said sophomore Michael Bosset, one of the students affected.
After a number of complaints from residents, Southwick extended the deadline to move out of Stuart Hall to the beginning of the spring 2018 semester.
Plans to renovate and repurpose the building have been postponed by the College until further notice.
Vice President for Student Life, Student Success and Inclusion John Holloway confirmed that the administration is considering repurposing Stuart Hall to be the new office building for the Admissions, Alumni, and Advancement Departments.
These offices are currently located in the Emily Williams House and J. Stewart French House along Armbrister Drive.
The relocation would not happen until renovation is complete.
According to the Project Manager David Kidd, the college is still “unsure of what best use Stuart can serve.”
Kidd said, “It was considered for both administrative and residential use as well as complete demolition.”
Stuart Hall was erected in 1909 and was named in memory of E&H alumnus and former Governor of Virginia, Henry C. Stuart.
According to George J. Stevenson’s historical nonfiction book “Increase in Excellence: A History of Emory & Henry College 1836-1963,” Stuart Hall was considered a state-of-the-art dormitory at the time of its construction because of its steam-heating and running water.
In its century of being an all-male residence hall, Stuart has made a positive impact on students.
Bosset said, “I know there always comes a time for change, but Stuart Hall was one of my favorite places on campus, and I am really going to miss the community atmosphere there.”