Students are looking forward to renovations in the university’s oldest dorm.
Ruth Collins Hall, one of Baylor’s largest residential halls and the only strictly female dormitory left on campus, is closing down in May for renovations.
The residence hall is home to more than 600 first-year female residents, according to Baylor’s Campus Living and Learning website. Many students are looking forward to the renovations on Baylor’s oldest residence hall, such as Gainesville sophomore Alexandria Knight.
“I think it gives the residents and us a lot of pride in Collins,” Knight said. “And we want to take care of it this last year.”
Others, such as Tyler freshman Faith Wilkerson, are enjoying the last year in the residence hall before it is remodeled.
“I just think it’s really cool to be a part of the traditional Collins dorm,” Wilkerson said. “I just like the history and tradition aspect about it, but I can’t wait to see what it looks like when they are all done,” Wilkerson said.
Courtney Streat, assistant resident hall director in Collins Hall, said she is impressed with the care that will be going into the renovations.
“Environment is such an important influence to learning and growth,” Streat wrote in an email to the Lariat. “I am glad that Campus Living and Learning is leading out in Baylor’s goal to make all of campus meet our students’ environmental needs during their personal and academic journey.”
As for the 600 women that Collins usually houses, they will go to other residence halls, said Tiffany Lowe, director of campus living and learning.
“What we have to do is redistribute,” Lowe said. “Next year, Kokernot, Texana and University House will be all-female as well.”
The hall, which was named after the wife of a Baylor trustee, has been open since 1957. Knight said she doesn’t know a lot about the renovations so far, but she knows they will help improve Collins.
“The whole first floor will be different,” Knight said. “The showers and bathrooms will be renovated too. The designers were all here today, which is pretty cool.”
The first floor will have an open floor plan, Streat said.
“There will be an increase in more open community spaces for the lobby and floors,” Streat said. “There is a distinct intention to carving out generous spaces exclusively for fellowship and study. This will give residents an opportunity to really make Collins Hall home for them because they will have the option of utilizing these spaces rather than making the long trip to the library.”
Since the hall will be closed next year, some are wondering what will happen to the community leaders.
“I like my CL job,” Knight said. “I think next year, they are able to reposition us into another dormitory if we would like.”
As for all of the furniture in the residence hall, it will be donated to charity.
“[The furniture] comes out and we work with several area charities to come pick it up,” Lowe said. “Groups like Caritas and others come get it, and there will be a brand new furniture package inside.”
Despite everyone going to separate living places next year, there is still a lot of community in the hall, Knight said.
“Being that it is an all-freshman and all-girls dorm, we are all on the same page,” Knight said. “We are all here for each other, and the staff is really great. The community is my favorite part.”