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Valleys to be Replaced
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SilentStryk09 Offline
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Post: #1
Valleys to be Replaced
http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/inde..._inpu.html

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Western Michigan University plans to replace all 12 residence halls in The Valley area of campus and on Thursday invited input from students and faculty on what they would like to see in new residence halls.

"What one word could ideally descibe the future of WMU?" Doug Campbell, project manager and architect from CannonDesign, asked members of the audience.

The forum at the Bernhard Center was the first of three the design and planning team for the project will hold to discuss plans for the residence halls project and get input from the campus community.

The Valleys are divided into three different sections. WMU hopes to replace the entire neighborhood of 12 halls in the next decade.

The first residence halls to be replaced are Harrison/Stinson halls and Eldridge/Fox halls, which are part of Valley III. The 1960s era-dormitories will be demolished and construction on their replacements is expected to begin early spring of 2018, officials say. WMU hopes to open doors for the 2020-21 academic year, according to a press release.

The cost to live in the new residence halls will be more than living in an older hall, said David Dakin, WMU director of planning, space management and capital projects. Valley III currently houses about 1,000 students.

A total cost of the project is yet to be determined. The going cost of constructing college residence halls is $55,000 to $75,000 per bed. Dakin said does not expect WMU's price to fall on the higher end of the range.

The nearly 30 students and faculty members in attendance were encouraged to voice their concerns and desires for the project. CannonDesign also accepted suggestions over Twitter.

The WMU official Twitter account live-tweeted the event asking students to use the hashtag #WMUValley to voice their opinions. Students' thoughts were also collected through the use of printed cards that could be filled out during the event.

Students asked for amenities such as recreational rooms, computer labs, snack bars and outdoor game areas for basketball or volleyball courts. Along with the amenities, they also said air conditioning and larger room sizes were important to them. Among the dorm perks mentioned, students also voiced their concerns for affordability and environmental impact.

Junior biology major, Abbie Bristol, 21, said one of her favorite parts of the WMU campus is the natural beauty of the outdoor spaces. The environmental studies and sustainability minor said she was concerned about losing some of those natural spaces that benefit the non-student inhabitants of Western's campus such as squirrel, deer and plant life.

"There's a lot of cool stuff you guys are talking about with the halls themselves ... but to see [the old structures] come down and see a new structure come up that impedes on the ecosystem would be a shame and I think definitely a problem," Bristol said during the forum.

Dakin said the university plans to be more environmentally "sensitive" than construction was in the 1960s.

Other concerns from students included parking and thin walls.

The plans to update campus began in 2013. Projects already completed include Western Heights, a new residence hall complex that replaced Bigelow and Hoekje halls in 2015, and the Valley Dining Center.

The Valley Dining Center, which opened its doors to student September 2016, is a two-story facility offering both grab-and-go options as well as restaurants.
09-15-2017 01:11 PM
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Broncodan Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Valleys to be Replaced
Living in Michigan, unless you are going to summer school and living on campus, A.C is not really needed........maybe have one dorm that has A.C and then put the summer students in those dorms, would save money. IMO.

Getting through the first month until October was usually the hardest, but after that, it was always really comfortable with the windows open and a fan in there. Then we will all know what happens when the snow comes.......lol

I never lived in the valley, lived in Draper for fresh and soph year (best dorms ever) and then French Junior year and Davis senior year.
09-15-2017 02:27 PM
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ColinApocalypse Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Valleys to be Replaced
My wife and I were both in Shilling our freshman years (not at the same time). My dad lived in Shilling, my mom was in Ackley. I have a couple aunts and uncles that stayed in Valley 2 and 3. One of my aunt's worked at Valley 2 caf, and I worked there for a year as well.

So long Valleys, and thanks for all the memories.
09-15-2017 05:02 PM
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JHoover Offline
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Post: #4
Shy RE: Valleys to be Replaced
There was Absolutely Nothing............
like Life's Experiences in VANDERCOOK HALL (aka "Hungry Hall" !
09-15-2017 06:56 PM
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Bronco'14 Offline
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RE: Valleys to be Replaced
1.) Yes, air conditioning could probably be passed on. Really only hot in September.

2.) I believe Eldridge/Fox were actually un-occuiped when I was a student not that long ago. (and then they 're-opened' to house students when Hojke/Bigelow were under construction). Could probably get away with less rooms.

3.) A better idea might be to just get rid of the idea of Valley dorms (because they're so far away from the rest of campus and are on mountainous hills) and have updated dorms in the heart of campus, like replace the Burnhams with modern dorms. That'd be stupid to do at this point, though, with the new cafeteria in the Valleys. Really, they should have renovated/modernized the main cafe in Hojke/Bigelow instead of building a brand new one in an isolated part of campus with old dorms right next to it.

4.) Definitely agree on good parking and activity areas like basketball courts or volleyball nets.

Anyone know if students like the new Hojke/Bigelow? Realistically they could just use a lot of the concepts from those dorms.
09-17-2017 05:42 PM
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BroncoPhilly Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Valleys to be Replaced
(09-17-2017 05:42 PM)Bronco14 Wrote:  1.) Yes, air conditioning could probably be passed on. Really only hot in September.

2.) I believe Eldridge/Fox were actually un-occuiped when I was a student not that long ago. (and then they 're-opened' to house students when Hojke/Bigelow were under construction). Could probably get away with less rooms.

3.) A better idea might be to just get rid of the idea of Valley dorms (because they're so far away from the rest of campus and are on mountainous hills) and have updated dorms in the heart of campus, like replace the Burnhams with modern dorms. That'd be stupid to do at this point, though, with the new cafeteria in the Valleys. Really, they should have renovated/modernized the main cafe in Hojke/Bigelow instead of building a brand new one in an isolated part of campus with old dorms right next to it.

4.) Definitely agree on good parking and activity areas like basketball courts or volleyball nets.

Anyone know if students like the new Hojke/Bigelow? Realistically they could just use a lot of the concepts from those dorms.


They renovated Bigelow? That was the first dorm I stayed in in Spring, 1973. Spent another year there then went into West Campus Apartments with one year in Spindler Hall (it was a no-food residence hall in 1975/76).

Would like to see what they did to Bigelow. It was a good dorm in that it was close to classes-it was part of the Hoejke, Henry, Bigelow and Ellsworth complex-we all shared a cafeteria. Bigelow and I think Henry were all men when I was there, Hoejke and Ellsworth were all women.
09-17-2017 05:54 PM
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flushtheherd Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Valleys to be Replaced
(09-17-2017 05:54 PM)BroncoPhilly Wrote:  
(09-17-2017 05:42 PM)Bronco14 Wrote:  1.) Yes, air conditioning could probably be passed on. Really only hot in September.

2.) I believe Eldridge/Fox were actually un-occuiped when I was a student not that long ago. (and then they 're-opened' to house students when Hojke/Bigelow were under construction). Could probably get away with less rooms.

3.) A better idea might be to just get rid of the idea of Valley dorms (because they're so far away from the rest of campus and are on mountainous hills) and have updated dorms in the heart of campus, like replace the Burnhams with modern dorms. That'd be stupid to do at this point, though, with the new cafeteria in the Valleys. Really, they should have renovated/modernized the main cafe in Hojke/Bigelow instead of building a brand new one in an isolated part of campus with old dorms right next to it.

4.) Definitely agree on good parking and activity areas like basketball courts or volleyball nets.

Anyone know if students like the new Hojke/Bigelow? Realistically they could just use a lot of the concepts from those dorms.


They renovated Bigelow? That was the first dorm I stayed in in Spring, 1973. Spent another year there then went into West Campus Apartments with one year in Spindler Hall (it was a no-food residence hall in 1975/76).

Would like to see what they did to Bigelow. It was a good dorm in that it was close to classes-it was part of the Hoejke, Henry, Bigelow and Ellsworth complex-we all shared a cafeteria. Bigelow and I think Henry were all men when I was there, Hoejke and Ellsworth were all women.


They tore Bigelow down and built a new structure in its place. Huge new modern dorm...
09-17-2017 07:26 PM
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BaldingBroncoFan Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Valleys to be Replaced
09-17-2017 08:38 PM
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GullLake Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Valleys to be Replaced
(09-15-2017 01:11 PM)SilentStryk09 Wrote:  http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/inde..._inpu.html

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Western Michigan University plans to replace all 12 residence halls in The Valley area of campus and on Thursday invited input from students and faculty on what they would like to see in new residence halls.

"What one word could ideally descibe the future of WMU?" Doug Campbell, project manager and architect from CannonDesign, asked members of the audience.

The forum at the Bernhard Center was the first of three the design and planning team for the project will hold to discuss plans for the residence halls project and get input from the campus community.

The Valleys are divided into three different sections. WMU hopes to replace the entire neighborhood of 12 halls in the next decade.

The first residence halls to be replaced are Harrison/Stinson halls and Eldridge/Fox halls, which are part of Valley III. The 1960s era-dormitories will be demolished and construction on their replacements is expected to begin early spring of 2018, officials say. WMU hopes to open doors for the 2020-21 academic year, according to a press release.

The cost to live in the new residence halls will be more than living in an older hall, said David Dakin, WMU director of planning, space management and capital projects. Valley III currently houses about 1,000 students.

A total cost of the project is yet to be determined. The going cost of constructing college residence halls is $55,000 to $75,000 per bed. Dakin said does not expect WMU's price to fall on the higher end of the range.

The nearly 30 students and faculty members in attendance were encouraged to voice their concerns and desires for the project. CannonDesign also accepted suggestions over Twitter.

The WMU official Twitter account live-tweeted the event asking students to use the hashtag #WMUValley to voice their opinions. Students' thoughts were also collected through the use of printed cards that could be filled out during the event.

Students asked for amenities such as recreational rooms, computer labs, snack bars and outdoor game areas for basketball or volleyball courts. Along with the amenities, they also said air conditioning and larger room sizes were important to them. Among the dorm perks mentioned, students also voiced their concerns for affordability and environmental impact.

Junior biology major, Abbie Bristol, 21, said one of her favorite parts of the WMU campus is the natural beauty of the outdoor spaces. The environmental studies and sustainability minor said she was concerned about losing some of those natural spaces that benefit the non-student inhabitants of Western's campus such as squirrel, deer and plant life.

"There's a lot of cool stuff you guys are talking about with the halls themselves ... but to see [the old structures] come down and see a new structure come up that impedes on the ecosystem would be a shame and I think definitely a problem," Bristol said during the forum.

Dakin said the university plans to be more environmentally "sensitive" than construction was in the 1960s.

Other concerns from students included parking and thin walls.

The plans to update campus began in 2013. Projects already completed include Western Heights, a new residence hall complex that replaced Bigelow and Hoekje halls in 2015, and the Valley Dining Center.

The Valley Dining Center, which opened its doors to student September 2016, is a two-story facility offering both grab-and-go options as well as restaurants.

Do whatever is necessary to help provide WMU additional leverage to recruit more/better qualified students.

Dorms matter.

What are WMU's primary competitors offering and what is WMU going to offer that is better?
09-18-2017 11:47 AM
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BroncoPhilly Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Valleys to be Replaced
(09-17-2017 08:38 PM)BaldingBroncoFan Wrote:  Short tours of the new dorms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_conti...gXWubUV37E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyEQ34D4OH4

Dorms look nice, but where is that homey feel of the old Bigelow study room? And the enjoyment of sharing the TV room with 40 others to watch reruns of Star Trek TOS (it was 8 years old in 1975)?

In the final analysis, Dorm memories are the people you meet and the events you share. It was great.
09-18-2017 03:45 PM
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