Students provide ideas and volunteer hours to update residence hall
Penn, Gurney and Barclay halls (PGB) are in the process of being renovated and improved thanks to the work of Michael Husk, Jake Bohrer, Dante Raffin and Lorne Strausbaugh, all PGB resident assistants. The group collaborated to create a renovation proposal which was sent to maintenance, student development and PGB’s resident director.
Already, the bathrooms have new paint and more eco-friendly shower heads and the lobby has new LED lights. The building also features a new microwave, five floor lamps, renovated lounges and new paint and drywall rather than carpeted walls.
According to Bohrer, senior social work major and RA of upper Gurney, the next phase of the project is to build a stone patio yet this fall. It will be built between Penn and Gurney and will have a tables and chairs on it.
Some of the supplies have been funded by Malone and local businesses, but the work has been done voluntarily by students and some of the Malone staff.
“The day we took the carpet down we actually had Coach Jack Hazen from the cross country team come over and put in some volunteer hours as well,” said Bohrer. “We did a lot of the volunteer work, but we partnered with Malone maintenance.”
This project was important to the four PGB RAs as approximately 65 volunteer hours have already been put into the project.
“It really displays the way the guys love the building and how they’re willing to put in some hard work and some sweat to see the building kept up and looking like the place that they love,” said Ryan Palmer, resident director of PGB and Haviland halls.
The community of PGB is a unique place that unites and bonds entire floors, according to Palmer.
“Something happens when you live in here. We rally around the building and some of its flaws. We want to make it the best we can,” said Palmer. “You can’t duplicate what happens in PGB in some of the other buildings. When it’s hot outside we’re all struggling through the heat together and that bonds you.”
Palmer loves the changes so far and was in shock when he first saw the results because it looked like a different building.
“I hope it will encourage students to know that, although we can’t always do everything that they want, we want their input. We want to hear what their concerns are and what their ideas are because when we can, we want to implement those kinds of things,” said Chris Abrams, vice president of student development.
“I hope it also shows that we do have value for PGB. Sometimes people think it’s an old residence hall and [Malone] doesn’t care, but we do care,” Abrams said. “The students care, and I think that’s one of things that I was encouraged about.”
Dante Raffin, junior business and marketing major, said the renovations will not entirely displace the classic carpeted walls in PGB.
“Some of the guys have nostalgic value towards the carpet, so we will leave a square and a lot of the guys will make cut-outs and put it in little frames if they want to take some home,” said Raffin. “There is something different about [PGB].”
Cathy Weyand is a Staff Writer for The Aviso