Starting in December of 2016, Bevier Hall will be closed to undergo renovations. The residence hall, located at the edge of South Manheim Blvd. and South Side Loop, will reopen in August of 2017.
According to SUNY New Paltz Director of Facilities Design and Construction John McEnrue, the Bevier Hall reconstruction project was postponed to Dec. 2016 from Dec. 2015 due to a lack of funding.
SUNY New Paltz Coordinator of Housing Operation Rafael Calderon said the college had to wait three years to renovate the second residential housing project in LeFevre Hall, which in turn pushed back the date for the renovation of Bevier Hall.
“There has been a plan in place since 2010 to renovate a building every two years,” Calderon said. “The first building to get done was Crispell in 2011. The economy going kaput stalled the timeline because the governor had to slash the SUNY budget.”
Calderon said that unless the economy takes “another nosedive,” the plan is to renovate a residence hall every two years until each has updated.
McEnrue said that Crispell, LeFevre and Bevier Halls were renovated first because they are the first buildings that can be seen from the road. Updating these residence halls and making them more aesthetically appealing could make SUNY New Paltz a better prospect for potential students, he said.
Bevier Hall is also electrically and mechanically outdated and does not currently meet standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act, McEnrue said. McEnrue also said the Hasbrouck quad suite-style residence buildings — Bevier, LeFevre, Crispell, Deyo and DuBois Halls — were in worse shape than the residence halls located on the Parker Complex — Scudder, Bliss, Gage, Bouton, Capen, Shango and College Halls.
McEnrue said that Bevier, like Deyo and DuBois halls, has underutilized space in the central halls outside the existing suites.
“The new design, similar to Crispell and LeFevre Halls, will envelop this space to within the student suites themselves making them more pleasant; homey, if you will,” McEnrue said.
McEnrue also said that Bevier will receive upgraded heating, ventilating, air conditioning, electrical support and wifi throughout its facilities. Upgrades in the residence hall will also include a new elevator, enhanced student lounge space and overall lighting improvements.
Calderon said the reconstruction of this residence hall will be a “complete overhaul” in that the roof will be completely redone as well as its entrances, windows, floors and bathrooms.
Similarly to LeFevre Hall, the improved Bevier will have its main entrance leading up to the main level/first floor and down to the basement where the lounge, kitchenette, laundry rooms and study areas will be located. This is different from Crispell Hall in that there is no direct access from the main entrance leading down to the basement.
Students living in Bevier have also noticed that their living quarters are in need of renovations.
Alexis Polokoff, a second-year sociology major, said that it is a “known fact” that there is asbestos throughout the building.
“That’s definitely not a healthy living environment to be in as far as health and safety are concerned,” she said.
Megan Carbia, a second-year political science major, said she noticed that the ceilings in her second-floor suite are rotting, the carpet in the halls is ripped, there are broken lights and the stairwells are in poor shape.
Both Carbia and Polokoff expressed the inconvenience of needing an access card separate from their New Paltz Student ID card to gain access to the building, their suites, as well as their individual rooms.
“The fact that I can use my ID card at the gym, at the dining hall and to do everything else on campus except get into my dorm is ridiculous,” Carbia said.
Polokoff added that the additional card has not made a difference in health and safety, especially since other Bevier Hall residents, including Carbia, have noticed that the main scanner to the front entrance has broken several times throughout the semester.
“You don’t even need your card to open the door,” Carbia said. “You can just pull it open most of the time.”
McEnrue said that come next fall semester, Bevier Hall residents will only need their student ID cards to get into the residence hall as well as their suites and individual rooms.
He also said that students who choose to live in Bevier Hall during the Fall 2016 semester will be informed by Residence Life prior to moving in that they will need to move again come that December.
“We usually lose over 250 people between fall and spring because they graduate, go study abroad, student teach, transfer, fail out [or otherwise],” Calderon said. “Many of the people leaving will be from Bevier because I will put all international students that come here in the fall, that will only be here until the end of the fall, in Bevier. We then get about 150 new students that come in the spring. The hundred or so leftover vacancies will cover the rest of the people that will be displaced from Bevier.”
This story first appeared in The New Paltz Oracle on April 9, 2015.