Freshmen learn southern hospitality

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Marquette's newest freshman residence hall has a colorful history.

Marquette has leased South Hall, 525 N. 17th St., for the next three years to accommodate the increasing need for residence hall space, said Jim McMahon, dean of Residence Life.

The hall, owned by University Partners LLP, was leased in the past by the state to be used as a halfway house for the Milwaukee Women's Department of Corrections, according to McMahon and Milwaukee tax records.

But after the state's lease ended last fall, University Partners LLP approached Marquette about the property. According to McMahon, Marquette didn't realize it would have the need for another residence hall until May, so at that time a lease agreement was settled.

The previous residents of the building moved out in May and the owners renovated the building during the summer, McMahon said.

Renovations include the refurbishing of bathrooms, repainting walls, re-carpeting rooms and work on the outside of the building. The building has laundry facilities in the basement and three common areas that McMahon said will be used for study and recreation areas. University parking is also available next to the building.

Currently 87 freshman men live in the building in double rooms, triple rooms and one quad room with private bathrooms. There are two resident assistants in the three-floor building.

"As we face challenges as a university, we look for creative ways to solve them," McMahon said. "I think this was a very creative solution."

The challenge this summer was finding places to house the large freshman class, McMahon said. Although there are more women in this year's freshman class, there was less space to house men before South Hall was acquired.

While South Hall helped alleviate the housing problem, some freshmen are still living in temporary housing. Currently, five double rooms in O'Donnell Hall are being used as triples to temporarily house students, but McMahon said that Residence Life anticipates having the students situated in permanent spaces by the end of this week.

Marquette stopped accepting applications in May, which allowed the Office of Residence Life to move the students assigned to temporary housing over the summer to permanent housing because no additional students were added.

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