BY JESSICA SPENCER
Mason Hall and Randolph Hall, dorms at the University of Mary Washington, were recently awarded an architectural award for their latest renovations.
The Merit Award, presented by IMAGINiT Technologies was given under the category of “contextual design.” There were 29 projects recognized for design excellence under one of five categories, Architecture, Contextual Design, Historic Preservation, Interior Design or Residential Design. Five juries identified 16 Honor Awards and 12 Merit Awards, as well as one special citation from a pool of 139 submissions.
The awards recognize the best work by designers working in Virginia and are presented annually to celebrate projects that are not older than seven years and contribute to the built environment as clear examples of thoughtful and engaging design.
“I like that the school is building and making adjustments to become more modern since we have such a traditional looking campus,” said freshmen Elleigh Morris, a chemistry major and resident of Randolph Hall.
Mason and Randolph Halls, received another award earlier this year as well for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for advancement in green technology and environmentally friendly buildings.
“The awards for the architecture and environmental awareness show that the committees and staff are working on bettering the school for the students as opposed to just the students bettering themselves for the school,” said Morris.
Jessica Ledford, a sophomore resident in Mason hall, is proud of the award Mason and Randolph Halls received.
“Mason receiving this award just shows that I am living in an amazing home. I’m proud to be living here and the fact that it received such an amazing award means a lot,” said Ledford. “Mason is my home and the fact that it’s not only keeping us safe as a family, it is keeping our environment safe. I’m just proud to call Mason my home.”
The new structure, with air-conditioning, more well-lit rooms and halls and suite-style bathrooms sets Randolph and Mason apart from the other buildings on their side of campus. Future plans for renovation intend to help improve Jefferson Hall.
“I think that aside from the air-conditioning all of the natural light sets Randolph above the other dorms,” said Morris. “To me the other dorms give off a sort of depressing vibe.”
Mason was made at the same time as Randolph, for the purpose of housing upperclassmen. According to Ledford, the high-end appliances in the kitchens set the dorm apart from the others, and the layout creates a modern feeling.
“It is so bright and has a comfortable cozy feeling, and plus it has a nice game room to kick back in,” said Ledford. “The lobby also has a ‘welcome home’ feeling.”
The dorms also have single long halls, as opposed to sectioned off halls, and newer beds, dressers and desks. Randolph is also home to living communities that allow students to be around others with similar academic goals, such as environmental soundness and engendering.
“I real enjoy the brighter lights and natural lighting, like the study hall at the end of my hall with just all windows on one side. I find that it’s more calming,” said Morris.