Hester renovation nearing completion: MSU dorm to feature new interior amenities

06-Aug-2014 http://murrayledger.com/news/hester-renovation-nearing-completion-msu-dorm-to-feature-new-interior/article_2b636104-d3f8-11e3-8fda-0019bb2963f4.html

As reported by the Murray Ledger & Times on May 5, 2014

Murray State University Chief Facilities Officer Kim Oatman says the Hester Hall renovations are on track to be finished in July so students can move in the following month.

The extensive renovation of the residential hall began in May 2013, so the building has been closed to students for the 2013-14 academic year. Members of Hester College were housed in Old Richmond Hall for the year, and those students were given the first opportunity to reserve space in the newly renovated facility during the fall 2014 reservation process, the MSU website said.

Oatman said he was expecting the $9.9 million in renovations to be complete July 8. After that date, the university should be ready to move furniture in, he said. Right now, the project is about 75 percent complete, Oatman said.

Oatman said the work started at the top of the building and moved downward, so the upper floors are very near completion minus some of the flooring and other small things. A lot of sheet rock work and painting still has to be done in the lobby, but the walls are mostly finished, he said. The site work and landscaping outside the building will be the last to be finished before new residents arrive to move in, he said.

“We’re excited about this,” Oatman said. “This is the second high-rise we’ve renovated, with Elizabeth being the first. The next step will be building a new Franklin. So we’re rolling right along on the replacement or renovation of all of (the buildings in) our housing plan. So this is an important step.”

The Kentucky General Assembly recently voted to pass a state budget that included an appropriation to build a new Franklin Hall in the coming fiscal year. 

Senior Project Manager Pete Reyna with the Department for Facilities Management said Hester Hall will now have laundry facilities on every other floor. There are also student lounges on each floor, he said. He said he believed the finished product will be something the university can show off as the new standard for residence halls and try to improve upon for the next renovation.

“Every time you do something better, somebody else tries to do it better than that,” he said. “But I think it’s going to be something very useful for the students, and they’re going to be very comfortable here.” 

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