Renovation of Collins Residence Hall postponed

Collins Residence Hall, located on Eighth Street, remains a community for Baylor freshman women, despite its postponed refurbishment. Photo credit: Liesje Powers

By Kendra Pell | Reporter

Collins Residence Hall has housed over 600 freshmen women each year since 1957, and Baylor’s plans to refurbish this longtime campus staple have now been postponed.

Tiffany Lowe, director of Campus Living & Learning, said the plan for 10 residence halls on campus to be refurbished in eight years began in May 2013 but has been delayed two years. However, the order of the building upgrades will remain the same once renovations start back up.

According to Lowe, the plan is for Collins to begin undergoing refurbishment May of 2019, followed by Memorial Hall and Alexander Hall combined, then Allen Hall and Dawson Hall together, and lastly Kokernot Hall.

One of the reasons for the stalling the improvement to Collins and the other dorms is the rise in construction costs in Waco, Lowe said.

“It is the largest residence hall by far, so the projected costs of the renovations have gone up since the construction costs in Waco have almost tripled because of the City of Waco booming,” Lowe said. “We have completed four buildings so far, and Collins is projected to be the fifth.”

The Board of Regents meets periodically and makes all the final decisions for projects such as these.

“Every year, you’ll notice if you go back through the Board of Regents’ decisions, every year the Regents have to put their stamp of approval on any changes first before it’s official,” Lowe said.

Despite the already remodeled halls throughout campus, Lowe says many incoming freshmen still want to live in Collins for various reasons such as a student wanting to continue the legacy of one of her family members formerly living in the dorm.

“In the last few years since renovations have begun, we have noticed that it’s not always the most requested building,” Lowe said. “It’s not the most updated building, but students will still be drawn to Collins.”

On the other hand, the older conditions and postponement of refurbishments of Collins Hall has little to do with what some past and present residences feel about the dormitory.

“As a freshman last year who lived in North Russell, which was brand new, and then moving to Collins, my experience had been better as far as community goes, and the facility being older doesn’t affect how I feel about it,” said Frisco sophomore Katy Stockton, current community leader in Collins Hall.

Dallas sophomore Stephanie Wofford, who lived in Collins last year, has a similar opinion about her former residence hall.

“The community is the whole experience of Collins,” Wofford said. “It may be older, but that’s part of the bonding experience for all of the girls living there.”