By MAGGIE MCCOTTER
When Arrington Hall was officially reopened over winter break, UMW posted a small tour of it on their Instagram story. It included images of the shower, flooring, and new mattresses. The showers have completely new shelving and design, the floors of the bathroom were switched from tile to mock wood, and the new mattresses have a soft side and a firm side for students to choose between.
Before winter break, an email was sent out by the university stating that the renovations to Arrington Hall were complete and students that were relocated from Alvey and Arrington had the option of moving back in for the remainder of the academic year.
The university promised students who were relocated and wanted to move back to Arrington that they would be assisted by move-in crews who would take their belongings from their current room to Arrington during winter break.
Josie Vernick, a sophomore majoring in international affairs, said, “[The crews were] incredibly helpful and swift in their efforts to move everyone into the building within three days. My family and I didn’t even have to touch what had been packed. In less than a half hour, my old room was loaded and unloaded into Arrington.”
Sean Silke, a junior majoring in business administration, said he did not have as positive of an experience.
“The time [the move in crews] told us to be ready by, they weren’t there,” said Silke. “Two or three hours later, they still weren’t there and we were still waiting, so I asked my RA if we could just move our own stuff. I moved all of my stuff and my roommate’s stuff into our single room on the fourth floor before that move-in crew even arrived at Arrington.”
Silke lived in the Cobblestone apartments all last semester and said the switch to Arrington had both benefits and drawbacks.
“It’s nice to be back because it’s so convenient to live on campus,” Silke said. “I miss the kitchen, though, because I was cooking for myself almost every night. I also didn’t have to pay for laundry because we had our own washer and dryer.”
Vernick said she also appreciated moving back to Arrington because “Marshall Hall was built in the latter part of the 1950s, and while it’s neat to live in the ‘retro’ style of either building, they’re incredibly dated in décor and amenities in student living quarters. I very much enjoy the arrangements [in Arrington] for students to access such as a kitchenette and laundry room on every floor, rather than a communal setting, in addition to brand new lighting and bathroom fixtures in all suites.”
Water damage from a flooding incident forced the closure of Arrington Hall for the fall 2018 semester, and revealed the additional problem of mold within the walls. Dean Dave Fleming told the Blue and Gray last semester that the renovated building would include three-piece inset showers and tiles with less grout in order to decrease possibility of mold growth. This would allow the residence hall to opened up as soon as possible and give residents an easier time keeping their bathroom clean.
“The shelves in the shower are easier to use than having to bring a caddy with you to the bathroom,” Silke said. “It’s also much easier for me to clean.”
Even though the university advertised the new mattresses on social media, many students that moved in to Arrington had no idea that was included in the redesign.
Silke said, “I wasn’t specifically told about them, I just heard by word of mouth.”
Katie Hartraft, a junior double majoring in creative writing and communication and digital studies agreed. “I had no knowledge of this at all and I don’t really see a difference, although my friend thought there was. I use a mattress topper, so I don’t think I would be able to tell either way.”
Vernick did not know about the mattresses either until she saw UMW’s post on Instagram.
The insulation was also replaced, and moisture-resistant drywall was used to keep the environment of the dorm more stable and mold-free.
“I feel so much cleaner and healthier being in Arrington,” said Hartraft.
“I was very happy to move into a very clean, modernized hall,” said Vernick.