Fulbright, FSK halls to close for renovations this summer

Media Credit: Olivia Anderson | Photo Editor

Fulbright and Francis Scott Key halls will shut down this summer to receive upgrades. Five other residence halls – JBKO, Merriweather, Clark, Cole and Hensley halls – will remain open over the summer but will receive minor upgrades.

Seven residence halls will undergo renovations this summer.

Fulbright and Francis Scott Key halls will shut down this summer to receive upgrades, according to the Housing website. Residents of those halls said the renovations will bring much-needed improvements to aging buildings that face problems like broken windows and mold.

Five residence halls – JBKO, Merriweather, Clark, Cole and Hensley halls – will remain open over the summer but will receive minor upgrades, like new furniture.

The renovations are part of the University’s plan to renovate every residence hall on campus on a seven-year cycle. The project launched in 2014 after a string of complaints on social media and to local news outlets about the quality of residence halls.

Officials will install new floors and new windows in FSK and a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in Fulbright. Both renovations will also include new furniture and bathroom upgrades.

Merriweather, Clark and Hensley halls will all receive new safety equipment, like sprinkler systems and new furniture, according to the housing website.

Seth Weinshel, the director of housing, said the University will begin renovations at the end of this semester.

“The University is planning to make various upgrades to residence hall buildings this summer, starting in May right after commencement and continuing through August,” he said in an email.

Weinshel declined to say how much the renovations will cost, what specific renovations will occur in the halls and when they will begin and end.

Residence Hall Association President Rachel Metz did not respond to several requests for comment. RHA typically advocates for residence halls that need upgrades.

Last year, officials installed new floors in JBKO and new bathrooms, kitchens, floors and doors in 2109 F St. Thurston and Madison halls received new furniture. The University allocates about $6 million each summer to the renovations.

Sophomore Tobie Grierson, who lives on the second floor of Fulbright, said that for the amount of money students pay for housing, the rooms are in poor condition, are covered in dust and mold, and are too small.

“The drywall in my bathroom has mold and needs to be torn down and redone,” he said. “Hopefully residents will be more comfortable after the changes.”

Fulbright Hall houses about 250 second and third-year students in three-person rooms that cost $11,200 per year, according to the housing website.

Logan Malik, a junior living in Fulbright, said the hall needs minor upgrades. When he moved into his room in the fall one of the windows was broken, he said.

“The bathroom, furniture and kitchen should be improved,” he said. “They should fix the kitchen stove and the gradients on it to ensure everything is working.”

Sophomore Natalie Simon, who lives on the sixth floor of FSK, said the building has unclean carpeting and outdated bathrooms.

“The floors are really gross and there is old carpet that needed to be replaced 10 years ago,” she said. “The elevators are oddly slow and one never works, so that should be fixed as well. In the laundry room, a couple of the machines turn my clothes brown, and I know it does that to my roommates’ too.”

Shenkman Hall was also initially under consideration for renovations this summer, according to the GW Housing website, but was not selected this year.

Lacey Christ contributed to reporting.

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