Students ready for new Franklin

In spring 2015 Franklin Residential College will get more than a facelift—it will get a full-body makeover.

The new building, to be located to the south of Hart Residential College, will cost Murray State an estimated $25 million.

The current Franklin cost the school a meager $1,015,450.65 back in 1962 — Springer Residential College cost just $939,794.51 two years later.

There are also plans to completely rebuild Springer Residential College, which is north of Hart, after Franklin is complete.

Plans to build a new Franklin are currently being drawn up by Murphy Graves Trimble, PLLC, based out of Lexington, Ky.

The project will break ground this spring and should be finished by summer 2016.

Like Hester Residential College and Elizabeth Residential College before, Franklin will be LEED Silver certified, meaning it will meet new energy-efficient federal requirements.

Chief Officer of Facilities Management Kim Oatman said students do not have to worry about displacement while the new building is being constructed.

“The plan is to construct a new Franklin and a new Springer before we demolish the remaining, old low rises (Springer, Richmond, Franklin residential colleges),” Oatman said.

Despite its age, Jamie Blaylock, freshman from St. Louis said the residential college is holding up fairly well, but if he had his choice it would not have been Franklin.

“It seems pretty well kept,” Blaylock said. “A little bland. My brother asked me why I was living in an insane asylum the first time he walked in. I would have liked (James H.) Richmond.”

Despite the upkeep, the yellow wall next to the front desk peels in large flakes, revealing years of paint layers and the building’s real age.

The binder of resident-placed work orders also provides evidence of the building’s aging interior.

Listed down just one page is a water damaged ceiling, missing parts of bathrooms and sinks, a fist-sized hole in a wall and a broken bed frame – all from just a week and a half of classes.

Last semester’s biggest complaint was squirrels in the air conditioning units.

The units have since been replaced, but continue to malfunction.

Logan Henz, sophomore from Fishers, Ind., said despite having hornets in her room last year, she felt the facilities were still relatively well maintained.

“I mean, it’s a dorm,” Henz said, “It’s not bad though. I like living here. There’s a good community. Whenever you see an RA (residential adviser) on campus they always say hi.”

The community built within the residential college is the most common compliment among residents walking through the front door, coming back from classes.

Despite many of them not getting their first-choice college, they are satisfied with where they were placed.

“It was my third choice, I’m pretty sure,” said Erica Mullins, freshman from Louisville, Ky. “My first choice was Lizo (Elizabeth) because it’s newly renovated, and my roommate’s first choice was Hart so that was my second.”

Mullins said her only real complaint was how small her room was.

Beyond that, bed risers and some color helped give her white cement space a homier and softer feel.

“I’m living with my best friend, and our RA group is a lot of fun,” Mullins said. “We’ve got a good community here.”

A plan is in motion to renovate and replace other residential colleges on campus.

Over the next 10 years, Regents, White and Hart Residential Colleges will be renovated.

These renovations will come from Murray State funding.

“We will keep the old Franklin, Richmond and Springer in place until after we finish our long range plan of getting all the high rises renovated and building the new ones,” Oatman told WKMS.

 

Story by Amanda Grau, Staff writer