BY KAYLA DRAKE|A&E EDITOR
Cobbs Hall has switched to a women’s dorm this year so that 100-year-old Niccolls Hall can undergo extensive maintenance, officials said.
This is the first time Lindenwood has closed down a housing facility for a major upgrade. Diane Moore, assistant vice president of operations, said the timing made sense because the university just finished updating Spellmann’s systems.
“We knew we had the ability with the incoming enrollment to be able to reduce one of the residence halls during the school year,” she said.
Director of Residential Life Terry Russell said freshman men who normally were housed in Cobbs were relocated to Pfremmer Hall and the fourth floors of Flowers and Guffey halls.
Students were told between June and July that they were being relocated. Russell said the transfers between dorms went smoothly.
“Everyone was receptive and very understanding about what we were trying to do, so I didn’t really have any complaints at all,” he said.
Area Coordinator for Cobbs, Alicia Barcomb, said she sees a lot of positives in the move, including a large lounge and a laundry room.
“It’s a lot more inviting and gives a sense of community, which is great,” she said.
Moore said she intends to continue this plan of closing a building each year, starting on the heritage side, as long as enrollment remains at this level or decreases.
“Where we have the opportunity to take a building offline in a year that gives us a longer period to do the job and the longer time you have to do the job, the better you do the job,” she said.
Moore said maintenance workers will be doing assessments to determine the most energy-efficient services, like heating, cooling and LED lighting.
“I’m a firm believer in sustainability where it truly provides a benefit for the university,” she said.
Maintenance will upgrade lighting, air, flooring, hot water heaters and windows in Niccolls. According to Russell, the dorm will reopen next fall.
If this plan continues, Moore said students will know before registering for housing, but part of the challenge is gauging where enrollment will be.
“During this year we’ll be accessing which building, if we have the opportunity to bring down, would we bring down next,” she said.