In order to make room for the largest freshman class in Pacific history, rooms in Walter Hall, one of three freshman residence halls, were converted to triples. The decision to renovate Walter Hall was made in spring of 2012. The other two residence halls in which freshmen may reside are McCormick Hall and Clark Hall. All three of these buildings are decades old, though they have been updated over the years with new furniture and other renovations.
One of the main reasons for renovating Walter Hall was the realization by the student affairs aspect of campus that Pacific was short more than 50 beds for freshman students and had two other large waiting lists for new transfer students seeking housing. Some also returning students were looking for a room other than the one they selected during lottery.
Director of Housing, Lisa Geraci said about the Walter Hall renovations, “Based on the shortage for freshman applicants and the desire for students to live on-campus, we did a number of things to use our space creatively,” said Geraci. One of the decisions was to change the first floor of Walter, which had previously been double rooms, into triple rooms and reduce the cost of rent. Geraci also included that in August, housing saw the normal flood of students canceling their housing, so students assigned to triples in Walter have the opportunity to request a change in housing if they wish during the room change period, which began Sept. 10 and ends Sept. 21.
Currently, there are 71 open beds on campus. Had the renovations to the first floor of Walter not occurred, there would be 30 open beds. The triple rooms in Walter Hall create more flexibility for students to move around and change rooms, should they choose.
The renovations to Walter Hall are a part of a three-year process that includes new paint, hallway carpet, new flooring, new free-standing furniture, redesign of closets and faster Internet connections. If high demands on housing continue, triples will continue being added. However, there would be a combination of doubles and triples and the few singles that exist will remain. This is to reduce pressure on the bathrooms. Next summer, changes to Walter will continue by renovating the second floor and third floor, which will be completed during the summer of 2014.
“We like the flexibility of first floor Walter,” said Geraci. “The space is very nice, especially with the renovations and faster Internet.”
According to Geraci, Housing examined off-campus properties in June and openings either didn’t exist or were very limited.
“Tripling rooms is not an uncommon practice among universities. Housing has to have flexible space in order to accommodate growing numbers and ultimately providing a bed to each student is the most important factor,” said Geraci.