For the past 93 years, J. Alvin has been a home to thousands of John Brown University students, but as the current residents prepare to relocate to the newly renovated southeastern side of the oldest dormitory on campus, many are experiencing mixed emotions.
The $5.5 million renovation of the J. Alvin rooms will provide students with more space and better living conditions, also all the dropped ceilings have been removed causing the rooms and hallways in the newly renovated wing to feel much larger. While the J. Alvin suites presently have four rooms per suite, the newly renovated suites will have seven to eight rooms per suite with the exception of Suite 22, which will have ten rooms. Each of the residents will also be provided with a wardrobe to accompany their current dormitory furniture.
Junior resident assistant Sam Boehning is optimistic about the newly renovated rooms.
“In the words of Hannah Montana, ‘Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock,’” said Boehning. “We’ll get accented walls. Our walls will be better soundproofed; plus we will have nicer air-conditioning.”
Freshmen Jake Knight and Eli Weaver also voiced their anticipation for the move. Knight mentioned that he is looking forward to the larger rooms and the divided shower stalls, and Weaver is most looking forward to the addition of new students in each of the suites.
“I’m excited for it. I think the suites are very family-like, and we’re extending the family,” said Weaver.
Knight agreed, “It will be a chance to get to know the guys in the other suite better. That’ll be good.”
While many students highly anticipate the impending J. Alvin move, other residents remain apprehensive.
“I don’t really know what to expect. I am slightly concerned about more people per suite. I don’t know how I feel about that . . . I’m a little skeptical, but we’ll see,” said junior Ben Coad.
Freshman Matthew Carnefix, however, is distressed by the relocation.
“I’m deeply troubled [by] it, and I don’t know where to turn,” said Carnefix.
These students, along with the other J. Alvin residents, will be relocating to the newly renovated rooms days before Thanksgiving break. The students will move from the northwestern side of the building to the newly renovated rooms on Friday, Nov. 22 through Sunday, Nov. 24. 19 rooms will relocate each day, according to Andre Broquard, Dean of Students and Director of Resident Life.
The students will be expected to move their own belongings to the new rooms. However, each room will receive their own wheeled cart to help move heavy furniture to the opposite side of the dormitory. There will also be two maintenance staff workers available to assist the students throughout the weekend.
“We are trying to do it in as organized a manner as possible as to not overwhelm the elevator or cause traffic jams. Hopefully with it being more organized, we won’t bang the walls or doors as much either,” said Director of Faculty Services Steve Brankle.
Although the construction is almost entirely complete in the new rooms, a number of the suites still require carpet, paint touch-ups and other minor details called a “punch list” before the rooms will be ready for occupation on Nov. 22.