Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) students finally got the first look at their newly-renovated dorms during campus move-in on Saturday, Aug. 19. Varnado Hall reopened in time for student move-in, but parts of the building were still under construction and blocked off from students.
Varnado was closed for the entire 2016-2017 school year to allow the space to be turned into a CAPA living-learning center complete with sound-proof practice rooms on each floor, a grand piano and a kitchen for catering future events. It was expected to be completed in time for fall 2017 move-in.
Upon entering the gender-separated dormitory hallways, excited CAPA students were seen readying their rooms for the first day of classes.
Tara Lane and Monique Basse, freshman theatre majors, were paired together in the dorm. They both are excited for the experiences bound to come when living around other arts students.
“I am sure it will be really amazing living around other people in the arts because it has always been a big part of my life,” Lane said.
“The art atmosphere, definitely [will be the best part],” Basse echoed. “The people here are probably going to be very interesting.”
Among the crowd of residents were some non-traditional CAPA members, such as sophomore transfer Jacob Bartels. He is living in Varnado as an English major with a concentration in film studies.
“I was expecting it to be very small freshman housing,” he said. “And I am actually very pleasantly surprised that the size is quite accommodating. I was expecting it to be a little hole-in-the-wall type room, but it is actually quite nice. Only thing: the closets are a bit confusing.”
It was obvious that the unfinished construction had not hampered the move-in day excitement, but half-complete work was still very much evident as students entered the first week of classes.
The only bathroom on the main floor in the girls’ dormitory was not available for use, with an ‘Under Maintenance’ sign blocking the entrance. At the end of each hallway was a door to access the central part of the building, which was decorated with caution tape to keep students and parents away.
Attempts to reach the basement and main section of Varnado resulted in locked doors, more caution tape, scattered furniture and half-opened boxes.
IKEA was responsible for supplying the furniture for the common areas and offices, but supplies did not arrive until Monday, Aug. 21. The completely-finished Varnado Hall will be available soon, and CAPA students can then start to enjoy all of the upgraded dorm’s new amenities.