Marquette Wire

Future of McCormick Hall to be determined by feasability study

Photo+by+Madeline+Pieschel+%2F+madeline.pieschel%40marquette.edu
Photo by Madeline Pieschel / madeline.pieschel@marquette.edu

Photo by Madeline Pieschel / madeline.pieschel@marquette.edu

Photo by Madeline Pieschel / madeline.pieschel@marquette.edu

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McCormick Hall is often the subject of rumors floating around campus.

Wasn’t there supposed to be a twin building right next to it? Is it sinking or leaning? Is it going to be torn down?

The answers to those questions: Yes, no and perhaps, depending on the results of a feasibility study by the master planning committee to be released sometime this semester.

Housing more than 700 students, McCormick is Marquette’s largest dorm. Since 1967, students have affectionately, and sometimes not-so-affectionately, called it home.

“The university continues to maintain and invest in McCormick Hall,” said Rick Arcuri, director of business operations and auxiliary services in the division of student affairs. “Its shape and age limit the options the university has to adapt and update the space to meet the lifestyle of today’s students.”

Arcuri confirmed that McCormick follows all building codes and is structurally sound. In 2005, Wisconsin issued a mandate requiring “private student residential buildings” to have an “automatic fire protection system.” From summer 2011 to summer 2013, the system was installed, costing a total of $4 million.

Kaitlan Watson, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, lived in McCormick for three years, one as a resident and two as an resident assistant.

“Definitely cleanliness and maintenance concerned me,” Watson said. “But I’m not too worried about it structurally.”

While living in McCormick, Watson said she experienced windows coming out of the hinges and general maintenance issues, a common complaint of students who live there.  Natalie Geoffroy, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, shared a story about ants in her second floor room.

Arcuri said the annual maintenance budget, including utilities, stands at about $640,000.

Libby Maddox, a freshman in the College of Nursing, said McCormick is often messy due to the students who live there.

“I don’t think it’s the people who work there’s fault,” Maddox said. “The janitorial staff is awesome. Student behavior makes it unnecessarily dirty. Possibly the reputation of McCormick makes people think certain behaviors are OK.”

Watson, said she agrees with that assessment. She said she believes the size alone contributes to a lot of complaints heard from the residents.

“It has a reputation for being a rowdy building, and (residents) may not respect it,” Watson said.

Whether McCormick will be torn down or not will be addressed by the results of the feasibility study. The study, conducted in November 2013, is intended to inform how “current (campus) trends in student residential living can be integrated into the options available at Marquette.”

The results of the student housing feasibility study are going to be looked at by the master planning committee. From those results, decisions will be made on how to proceed.

“Common sense tells you something has to be done to make this building better,” Arcuri said.

The decision could take a year.

“There are a number of different options on the table,” Arcuri said. “No one is sure until the master planning committee meets.”

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