Master Plans for Dorms

Kristian Perez, Staff Writer

Wayne State College planners are focusing on providing suite-style housing for students in the coming years. 

CD Douglas, vice president for student affairs said the college understands a lot of work needs to be done in the residence halls.  

“We really want to provide suite style housing for our students along with upgrading the dorms in general,” Douglas said. 

Douglas said Morey Hall has gone through some upgrades within the past years. 

“The Morey Hall restrooms on the second and third floors were recently updated,” Douglas said. “We plan to update the first-level restrooms this summer. Eventually, we want to get AC in Morey when funding will allow.”  

Douglas said the office of Residence Life did a survey in 2021 to get a better understanding of what students want to see in the dorms.  

“The number one response we heard from students is wanting suite-style living,” Douglas said.  

Pete Rizzo, dean of students and residence life, said a suite-style option means students would share a room but would have a private shower, private toilet, two sinks in all the dorm.  

That may be in the works for Berry.  

“Our plan as of right now is Berry Hall will either be renovated or we will tear it down and build a new one for the suite- style options,” Douglas said. 

He said Berry Hall currently has 300 beds.  

“So, the problem with those two options is not having the same number of beds either way,” Douglas said. “Our third option would be to hire a private partnership to build some suite style dorms close to campus.” 

Douglas said he had the opportunity to tour surrounding colleges that provide suite-style dorms to get ideas for the WSC campus. 

“We toured colleges like UNL, UNO, and Morningside to see the suite-style living,” Douglas said. “Basically, we’re thinking students would have their own private bathroom, sink, with a small kitchen, should fit 3-4 students.” 

Douglas expects a total of seven dorms on campus – eight if they decide to go with the private partnership 

“Our goal right now is to either renovated Berry Hall or rebuild it,” Douglas said. “That would keep seven dorms. But our concern is not being able to get 300 beds even after the rebuild, which means we would have to bring in the private partnership – which would bring it to eight dorms in total.” 

Douglas said updates are planned for all dorms. 

“Berry Hall is by far our main focus,” Douglas said. “We have done a lot in Morey Hall and plan to do more this summer. Bowen was renovated in 2016. We’ve done lots of work in Pile and Anderson Hall, as well. Of course, all the dorms that don’t have AC in them is one of our main focuses.” 

Douglas said WSC dorms have some advantages, including how close all the residence halls are to academic buildings.  

“When you think about living in the residences hall, one thing to keep in mind is some dorms have sinks in the rooms which is a huge plus, so you don’t have to go to the community restroom late at night,” Douglas said. “Berry Hall rooms are larger than a lot of the other dorms.” 

 Living on campus is a great way to build a community, Douglas said. 

Rizzo said Bowen Hall, reworked in 2016, was one of the last dorms to be updated. 

“For the master plan, basically, we’re still working alongside other people involved but -long story short – all dorms will get air conditioning, which includes Morey and Berry halls,” Rizzo said. “The plan for Morey is to have all new restrooms starting this next fall.” 

Rizzo said Residence Life is still working on the campus master plan. 

“Bowen is the newest dorm on campus, but Pile Hall also just got remodeled back in the early 2000,” Rizzo said. 

Rizzo said final details of the campus master plan will come out within the next year. 

“We’re doing our best to listen to all the students’ needs and wants,” Rizzo said. “Be patient with us and hang in there. It’s all coming together very soon.”