By Michael Trampe
In an email sent by President Foster to the campus community on Feb. 21, it was announced that Travers and Wolfe halls will close in 2024 after 51 years of housing College students.
Since 1971, Travers and Wolfe halls have served as freshman housing for students at the College and since 2015, the closing of the towers has been discussed. But due to cost and student opposition, the towers have remained open, according to Foster’s email.
In the month of January, the towers experienced several building system issues, and the College has now decided to replace the freshman residence halls in an effort to provide a better “residential experience” for incoming students.
Beginning in the fall of 2022, the occupancy levels throughout the towers will be reduced, and the development of new residences will be pursued.
President Foster stated that the school’s goal is to have these new facilities ready by the fall semester of 2024, and at that time, Travers and Wolfe halls will close permanently.
James Chiriboga, a sophomore education major, who is the community advisor (CA) to the sixth floor of Wolfe Hall, is nervous about the impending closure.
“I, along with a bunch of other CA's, depend on this job for housing, but I know I still have a job in Residential Education and housing moving forward,” Chiriboga said.
Aside from working as the CA on his floor, Chiriboga has seen firsthand that residents create lasting friendships in their time in the freshmen residence halls.
“I feel like I’ve helped many residents develop friendships, and have seen them grow throughout their freshman year, and I can definitely see how the towers have helped these relationships to thrive,” he said.
Alarms going off in the middle of the night and even a gas leak in the towers earlier this semester caused students to evacuate to the Recreation Center in the middle of the night. Loss of sleep and frustration surrounded those nights, but some students could see a positive change with the school moving forward.
Freshman history major Artie Carril, a resident of Wolfe Hall, recognizes flaws throughout the buildings and understands the reasoning behind their removal.
“I think it shows they see how outdated the towers are, and they are at least trying to make the campus better,” Carril said.
While the buildings may be old, a new thing to come about through them has been friendships. Many students through Travers and Wolfe said they were able to look past the building’s flaws.
“It’s a nice community of people,” said freshman mechanical engineering major and Wolfe Hall resident, Brian Rossino Jr.. “The towers have some flaws, but there is some charm to it.”
“Sometimes you have to sit back and not think about all the problems we endure living in the towers, but rather the positives,” freshman finance major Drew Wixted, a resident in Travers Hall, said.
Josh Almonor, a freshman economics major living in Wolfe Hall, carries “mixed feelings” that stem from the constant alarms that have caused him and many other students “sleepless nights.”
Almonor credited the towers for his close friends, and how the constant disruptions and alarms taught him to better manage his schedule.
“I’d probably say it’s affected it negatively but it’s helped me schedule, get my work done, play basketball; you have to get it done somehow,” he said.