Residence halls get decked out

Multiple residence halls underwent major renovations this summer. Photo by Aaron Ledesma /

As students began the pilgrimage back to Marquette this past week, many returned to find that everything was not as they had left it in May.

Multiple campus buildings underwent significant renovations this summer, including McCormick Hall, Cobeen Hall and the Alumni Memorial Union.

In Cobeen, surface improvements included new paint, carpet, furniture, curtains and self-locking doors, said Rick Arcuri, associate dean for administration of the Office of Residence Life. These renovations were a continuation of construction work that began last summer, which included building study lounges on each floor and beginning the installation of a sprinkler system in the building.

In McCormick, work began on renovations that will take three summers to complete, Arcuri said. Crews this summer converted study lounges on each floor into new quad rooms for students.

While a majority of the work done on campus buildings was done over the summer, he said, Marquette utilizes student breaks to make progress on renovations as well. Construction work, which is done by an outside contractor, was also done over longer breaks such as Christmas and spring breaks last year.

The changes made to all of the residence halls, including McCormick, were not related to the unusually large class of 2015 that arrived this week, Arcuri said.

“These were all projects that were already underway,” he said. “They had nothing to do with the size of the incoming class.”

Arcuri said the biggest renovation in Cobeen and McCormick was the installation of new sprinkler systems in the buildings.

Students and staff familiar with Cobeen prior to the recent renovations agreed that the hall’s new look is a significant improvement from last year.

“Having worked in Cobeen a few years ago, it’s amazing how much it has changed,” said Kelsey Stockton, Cobeen residence hall director. “Cobeen used to look good, but now it’s really been taken up to the next level.”

Meghan McCaffrey, a sophomore in the College of Nursing and former Cobeen resident, said the changes are dramatic. McCaffrey returned to Cobeen this year as a resident assistant.

“The renovations are great – very different from last year,” McCaffrey said.  “Since everything is brand new, it really feels like home because you get to make it your own. My residents will really feel like it’s their space.”

Though the renovations in McCormick meant the loss of lounge space on the floors, some students spoke positively of the changes.

“I think the new quads in McCormick look pretty nice,” said Chelsea Greco, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Aside from residence hall renovations, the AMU also saw some changes made to what was previously the Leadership, Education and Development Center. Now called the Center for Leadership, Service and Involvement, the renovated space is larger than the original LEAD Center and includes several tables as well as computers for student use.

The space was previously a portion of the Student Organization Commons and is located across from the original LEAD Center in the AMU.