Many of us encountered community-style dorms during our freshman year at FSU. Whether it would be surviving the Kellum cough; living in the small, confined space of Smith; sharing a bathroom with 20 strangers; or constantly hearing everything happening next door, the dorm life was filled with some bleak, awkward and interesting moments. The one thing we can agree on is that community-style dorms allow people to interact and form strong friendships that probably wouldn’t have happened elsewhere. Personally, my entire friend group was formed in the 60-year-old moldy building of Kellum. When I found out that Kellum had been closed and I didn’t see any freshmen walking out of the building on my daily morning walks, I knew I needed to find out what would happen in the future to the dorm we grew to secretly love.
Florida State University welcomed the brand new Dorman and Deviney dorms this fall semester. The idea to renovate these dorms began years ago when the housing board decided they wanted to provide a substantial environment and quality areas of living for its students. The battle however, has been over whether the dorms should have been repaired or renovated. Considering the conditions Dorman and Deviney were in, the board decided to replace them altogether. According to Housing Executive Director Shannon Staten, “It is better to tear down and build new.” Which is why, in 2017, it is expected that two new dorms will be built simultaneously. One of the dorms will even have a dining hall because the university realizes that students look for an environment that is both convenient and enhances their overall college experience.
In terms of the West side of campus, the board will keep in mind how they are going to fund the renovations or replacement and when to schedule upcoming demolitions. In Rogers and Smith Halls, the air-conditioning system was replaced this past summer, and future implementations will soon take place within Salley Hall. The decision to demolish Kellum was because, as Shannon Staten states, “Kellum was not providing quality standard of living.” Analysis was done on Kellum Hall and they realized it was too hard to keep the system running. Dorman and Deviney are no longer community-style dorms but have acquired the suite style blueprint. Students tend to prefer this style because it allows for both social and private settings for the individual students. The board also took into account what things students liked about the dorms as seen in the implemented future floor plans for the incoming freshmen.
Kellum Hall, on the other hand, will be demolished later this fall and in the meantime is being cleaned and prepped for demolition. When asked what the space of Kellum and Smith Hall will become Staten says, “It will probably stay as dorms or some type of housing though this could change in the future.” As for the rest of the West side of campus, there will be work done in any building that is left. As of now, I hate to inform that the space of Kellum and Smith will not be turned into a parking lot or a park in general, but will stay as a housing facility. The university is currently developing a strategic plan in which they are deciding to either renovate, replace or update the old dorms, hence creating a domino effect in which eventually all dorms will be renovated or replaced in the far future.
Though the tearing down of Kellum will take time, we will always remember the memories, both wonderful and unfortunate we made our freshman year in the dorm we low-key will miss deeply.