Story by Bailey Bohannon, Staff writer
The construction of New Franklin will be completed as scheduled before the Fall 2016 semester begins.
New Franklin is a continuation of a plan 15 years in the making to replace all the old low-rise residential colleges.
J. David Wilson, director of Housing and Residence Life, said New Franklin is one building in the middle of this plan put together by members of Housing, Facilities Management and Student Affairs working alongside each other with the budget office.
“The residential facility is scheduled for occupancy and will be opened in August,” said Adrienne King, vice president of Marketing and Outreach.
New Franklin will be ready to welcome students in the fall 2016 semester, but it will not be the last residential college to be redone.
Wilson said when the original plan was made more than 15 years ago, it concentrated on replacing the low-rise buildings, but recently the plan has been revised to include renovating the high-rise residential colleges along with building brand new residential colleges.
“Once Franklin is finished, we still have to look at Springer, Hart, Regents and White,” Wilson said.
The completed building will consist of 388 units and will most resemble James H. Richmond and Lee Clark Residential Colleges. There will be a few differences in the buildings, including more four-person suites. The main differences will include a small classroom and a multipurpose room that will be located in the center of the hall, very close to the entrance.
“The [classroom and multipurpose room] will be used by students and staff who live in the building,” Wilson said.
“There could be classes held in the classroom or group meetings. The large multiple purpose room will be used as a lounge/lobby, but can also be used for presentations and programs put on by the RCC and the hall staff,” he said.
The residents will be made up of all different students; however, housing has already set aside space for certain students.
“There is space set aside for members of the Honors College, and we will work with staff of the Honors College to identify the students who will fill those spaces,” Wilson said.
“For the remaining spaces in the hall, current Franklin residents would have first priority, then other students on campus, and we would also need to set aside spaces for incoming freshmen,” he said.
Current Franklin residents like Tanner Nettleship and Katie Schoenborn said they look forward to being near the top of the list, and they will be taking advantage of that benefit.
However, they said they are both still attached to the old Franklin because of all the good memories and close community that it has provided them with during their first semester at Murray State.
Schoenborn, freshman from St. Louis, said although she will be applying to live in New Franklin, she is a little sad to leave old Franklin.
She said old Franklin has provided her with many friends, but she is excited to have the opportunity to live in New Franklin where she will not have to climb three flights of stairs every day.
“I have visited friends in much nicer residential colleges, like Lizo, and am both anxious and excited to be upgraded to both counter space and elevators like them,” Schoenborn said.
Nettleship, freshman from Louisville, Kentucky, said the cost of Franklin is what he will miss the most, but he looks forward to being able to live in a newer and bigger residential college.
“Although I like the cheap cost of the Franklin I am currently in, I think it will be well worth it to have a nicer, more comfortable room to live in,” Nettleship said.