LaFortune closed for 2017-2018

Last semester, The Collegian reported that Lottie Jane Mabee Hall would have one wing closed during the 2017-2018 school year. At the advent of this school year, however, LaFortune House has been completely closed, while the east wing of Lottie Jane Mabee Hall has been reopened.
Melissa France, associate vice president of housing and residential life, commented that the decision to close one residence hall was more sensible instead of keeping all of the halls open with a few empty rooms in each one. “Keeping the other halls at or near capacity helps to build community and is a more efficient use of the space,” she said. In deciding to close LaFortune House, the administration considered “the size of the building, number of beds available and proximity to places where students socialize and dine.”
Those students who had been assigned to the House were relocated to another hall without any concerns. The university does not plan to reopen LaFortune, but France said housing administration will continue to monitor the situation to see if opinions change.
Previously, LaFortune was known as the “international” dorm. Recently, however, according to France, “more international students were living in John Mabee Hall and Hardesty Hall than were living in LaFortune,” choosing interests and preferences over the traditional assignment.
Lottie Jane, according to Savanna Deweese, senior resident assistant in the hall, is now close to full capacity, as a result of the closing. Three new staff members, two originally hired for Lafortune and one for Fisher South, are now working the east wing.
“We actually have the largest freshman population of all the halls on campus this year,” she said, partly because one female wing in the freshman dorm, Fisher South, was moved to Lottie as there were more incoming male than female students.
This change has been for the better, Deweese noted, as “It’s only been a week and the community interaction seems to be improved from the previous year!” “We’re all really excited about the new, upbeat vibe Lottie has because of our high freshman population,” she finished.
To prevent any future maintenance problems, the physical plant will oversee the residence hall while it is closed. In the meantime, all references to LaFortune on the university’s website have been removed.

Post Author: Michaela Flonard

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