Marshall campus receiving major makeover over summer


Sarah Ingram

Students returning to Marshall’s campus this fall will notice several prominent modifications.

Students will see multiple changes on Marshall’s campus in the fall 2019 semester as the layout is in the process of being modified to make Marshall feel more like home, according to the director of Housing and Residence Life, Mistie Bibbee.

“I think what students are going to see with the changes is that change is good,” Bibbee said. “The changes in the residence halls seem to change the feel of living on campus.”

The changes on campus include renovations to the dining halls, Towers West lobby and the Memorial Student Center.

Students can also look forward to the Women and Gender Center moving to a new location in Old Main and Holderby Residence Hall closing for the 2019-2020 academic year.

The most prominent changes on campus will be in dining options for students, as the MSC food court and Towers Marketplace are being renovated and the Campus MU Express store is closing.

Students can expect to see new meal plan- accessible restaurants like Steak ‘n Shake, La Famiglia, The Den and others.

Ryan Zipperian, the unit marketing specialist with Sodexo, said the changes are a result of students wanting change and wanting to create a better environment for those using the dining halls on campus.

“The biggest reason for change is because of student feedback and them wanting more retail options,” Zipperian said. “Students are our guests, they’re our clients and we do everything for them. We want them to be excited about it.”

Zipperian said students can also still expect to have late night meal options, though the official hours for the different locations have not yet been released.

Other changes on campus include the renovations to the Towers West Residence Hall lobby. This remodel comes only one year after the Towers East Residence Hall’s lobby upgrade, and is expected to be a comfortable place for students to relax, according to Bob Easthom, the associate director in charge of the renovations for the residence hall.

“Even just the changes in the lounge show changes in the usage,” Easthom said. “We see more students using them and it’s more inviting for them.”

The lobby will consist of new furniture, gaming opportunities and TVs for students to spend time in between classes or host events if they wish.

Other changes in housing and residence life include the addition of a ‘smart room’ on Marshall’s campus.

Willis Hall will be home to the new technology-based room after HRL received a grant to help fund the project. This room is an example of the ways HRL staff hopes to help students based on what they need, according to Bibbee.

“We want to work with students to kind of meet their needs as we see needed,” Bibbee said. “If the room is a success, creating more smart rooms is definitely something that we would look into.”

The other main change in campus living will be the closing of Holderby Hall for the 2019-2020 academic year. While Bibbee said the residence hall is not closed permanently, the university does not have a need for it at the current moment and will decide the buildings future at a later date.

Students that applied to live in Holderby have been notified of the changes and have been offered new rooms on campus to help make the transition easier.

The Women and Gender Center is also moving to a new location this summer with hopes to create a new, inviting spot for students to go, according to Claire Snyder, the program coordinator of the Women and Gender Center.

“I think the goal is to make it fun and not too stuffy and to just keep it really inviting,” Snyder said. “I want students to know they are welcome. This is a safe environment for anyone and we hope students come see that.”

The center is moving to Old Main, leaving their old space behind to provide more space for Disability Services and creating a different environment from their last location.

“This space will be a much more multi- use and student friendly environment which is really what we’re going for,” Snyder said. “We want students to feel this is their center, their space to use how they wish.”

Snyder said though Old Main is not often seen as a ‘fun and loving’ building, she hopes having the center their will make students feel more welcome.

Other minor changes on campus include carpet being taken out of dorm rooms and being replaced with tile in Towers West, bathroom updates in Towers East and roof repairs on Old Main.

Sarah Ingram can be contacted at [email protected]