WSC plans new suite style dorm construction and Berry Hall updates

Aubreanna Miller, Editor-in-Chief

Wayne State College has a two-fold plan to construct an all-new suite style living dormitory south of Lot 10 over three properties owned by the Wayne State Foundation before undertaking a limited renovation of the east wing and lobby of Berry Hall. 

The projected timeline, according to Vice President for Administration and Finance Angie Fredrickson, places the beginning of construction in the fall of 2023 and the end during the summer of 2024. Students would have the opportunity to occupy the hall the fall semester of 2024.  

Right now, the drafted design has 171 beds which feature suite-style living. Rooms would have double beds, a living space, bathroom and a kitchenette space. They will not include full kitchens but will have space for a mini fridge and microwave.  

“Of course, things could change as we get a consultant and the construction manager at risk on board,” Fredrickson said. “But at this point, what we’re asking the consultants to assist us with is [the] two-fold plan.” 

After the first project is completed, the east wing of Berry Hall will close for renovations. Students may still live in the west side during this time. 

The east wing and lobby area will receive air conditioning, an upgrade to infrastructural and electrical items, bathroom upgrades and aesthetic improvements such as new windows. By the fall semester of 2025, students are expected to be able to move back into the updated side of the dorm. 

WSC has no plans to renovate the west side and will likely demolish that side, Fredrickson said.  

“We don’t have plans to renovate the west wing of Berry,” Fredrickson said. “But that will depend on future funding and how the rest of the project goes. But the plan would be to demo that. So ultimately, we’d have about the same number of beds once the projects complete, maybe a few more, but about the same number of beds.” 

Funds for the project will come from bonds from the college’s Auxiliary Program, following approval from the Nebraska State College System Board of Trustees. A smaller portion of the money will come from within the Auxiliary Program’s existing reserve funds.  

Fredrickson said WSC hopes to have Board approval during their meeting this upcoming June. Also during that meeting, the board will also need to sign off on the program statement and design development before construction can begin.  

“It’s coming from our auxiliary program, which the residence halls are a part of our auxiliary program, so we will need to bond for the project,” Fredrickson said. “Payment of those bonds will be paid over a number of years with revenues from student residence hall rentals.”