|Students, staff bid farewell to Southside|
|Written by Elizabeth Brei, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Tuesday, 24 July 2012 17:07|
The Southside residence halls will shut down after more than 50 years of service at Illinois State University.
Campus Housing Services will host an open house at the Southside campus on Saturday, July 28 to celebrate its history and acknowledge the decommission as a residence hall.
The Southside residence halls are the oldest on campus. Hamilton Hall and Whitten Hall opened in 1960, as well as Feeney Dining Center. In 1962, Atkin Hall and Colby Hall opened.
The buildings are named after five notable women in ISU history. Alma Mary Hamilton was an assistant professor of English and also the first recipient of a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State Normal University.
The other buildings were named for Jennie Alma Whitten, head of foreign languages from 1919 to 1959, Mae Warren Feeney, a former assistant dean and residence hall director, Edith Irene Atkin, a professor in the math department and June Rose Colby, a professor of literature.
While the west and east campus residence halls and Watterson Towers have all been renovated in recent years, it was found that the renovation of Southside would be too cost-inefficient, according to Jamie Wood, assistant director of University Housing Services. Demolition of Southside is not scheduled, so the buildings may continue to be used as offices or storage areas in the coming years.
Wood explained that UHS has the capacity to house all of the people who are required to live on campus in the future, even without plans for a new residence hall to be built in the place of Southside.
Students who have been out of high school for two years or less are still required to live on campus. The opening of the Cardinal Court apartments, as well as other complexes like The Lodge, should be able to account for the rest of the students who need housing in order to attend ISU.
The open house will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 11 a.m. Tours of the residence halls will be held from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m., at which time there will be remarks by the director of UHS and the director of Campus Dining Services, as well as former residents of Southside. This portion of the open house is free of charge.
"[The former residents will get to] share their fondest memories of living there," Wood explained.
"We will walk through the rooms and the popular points of the buildings like the Dining Center and pop into the more well-used areas of the halls," Wood said.
Following this, Feeney Dining Center will be open for lunch at 11 a.m. so that attendees can have one last meal in the dining hall at the price of $8.50 plus tax.
Wood said that the open house will give faculty and former residents an opportunity to see the place they called home one last time, even allowing the possibility of viewing the rooms they once lived in.
"I think it will be special. People have a lot of neat memories of living in the hall or working in the hall," she said. "It’s a good chance to go back and reminisce right in that space that you remember and connect with other guests that will be there."