HRL submits plans to redo Lafayette


Emma Wright

Housing and Residence Life, Honors College and the Facilities Department have submitted plans to redo Lafayette Hall. The building houses students in the Honors College. Following Lafayette’s completion, the university plans to continue renovating the other residential halls on campus.

Alex Hopper, News Editor

Housing and Residence Life, the Facilities Department and Honors College have introduced plans to renovate Lafayette Hall, which has been a home to UNA’s students since 2006. 

The groups hope to finalize all renovations and updates by the end of this upcoming spring semester and to reopen Lafayette in Fall of 2022. The renovations are focused on the building’s exterior and the communal bathrooms in the hall. 

“The university recognizes the importance of the residential experience for our students and that includes addressing items both aesthetically and structurally,” Jennifer Sutton, director of HRL, said. “The opportunity presented itself to begin renovations on Lafayette Hall to ensure its safety and durability for years to come.”

After completing these renovations, the groups hope to continue revitalizing all of the residential buildings on campus. 

“We have short-term and long-term goals for each building based on our residential education plan and the input of facilities experts,” Sutton said. “We will continue to identify ways to improve our residence halls and apartments and provide a premier on-campus living experience for our students.”

Lagrange Hall is one residential building that the groups plan to focus on next. 

“LaGrange Hall hasn’t been occupied in quite some time, and there have been several student focus groups in the last year to determine how to best move forth with that particular hall,” Sutton said. 

Honors College student Abby Richardson speaks to planned changes to Lafayette hall. 

“As an incoming freshman, I was hesitant about the building’s age and outdated features but it was clear to has a certain character unparalleled on campus,” Richardson said. 

Richardson points out that though she agrees some areas of the hall could stand a remodel, she hopes the original character of Lafayette stays intact. 

“I’m glad the university and honors college are taking the time to give Lafayette some much needed TLC,” Richardson said. “My primary concern is that the building’s original charming character is preserved in the process.” 

Richardson believes that this remodel may attract more students to enroll in honors college. 

“[Honors College directors] Vince Brewton and Laura Beasley do so much for the honors college and the students within it,” said Richardson. “I know the remodel will be the cherry on top.”

Richardson agrees with the plans to revamp the on-campus residential halls. 

“I think these buildings have the potential to not only bring more residential students to campus but also to provide a much more pleasant on-campus experience,” Richardson said. 

Honors College student Seth Martin, agrees that Lafayette, while it provided a good dorm experience, has begun to show signs of age. 

“The bathrooms could have used a little work,” Martin said. “Not all of the showers and sinks worked so that aspect could use an improvement.”

Martin, however, does not see the remodel as a necessary step and also doesn’t see it growing Honors College enrollment. 

“I can’t speak to the structural integrity of the outside of the building,” Martin said. “But based entirely off of the inside of the building, a remodel was not necessary in my opinion.”

The renovation of Lafayette hall could be the beginning of a large-scale update of UNA’s campus.