Saint Yon’s Hall may jump to the top of the list of popular residence hall choices this spring. The historic building had become undesirable to students due to the small rooms, lack of amenities, and distance from campus, according to Associate Vice President of Campus Services Chris Kendall.
As part of an ongoing effort to upgrade the university’s residence halls, Saint Mary’s is reviving Saint Yon’s by renovating the residence wings into multiple-sized apartments for juniors and seniors. A construction crew began the work during the week of Nov. 9 with assistance from the Saint Mary’s maintenance staff, and the renovation is scheduled to be completed in time for students to move in during the fall of 2016.
Photo by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
According to Jim Bedtke, vice president for university facilities and executive director of the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurship, the construction crew will knock out walls to open up spaces for larger apartments, replacing the thin fiber walls with thicker sheetrock. All of the plumbing in the building will be replaced and air conditioning will be installed. In addition to the apartments, students will have access to a computer lab, cardio room, laundry room, and reflection space. The residence hall will be accessible by student ID cards.
“Translating phrases like ‘building community,’ ‘intellectual and spiritual growth,’ and ‘wellness’ into physical spaces is an enjoyable and rewarding challenge,” said Kendall.
One apartment for six to eight students will be located in what was once the Christian Brothers’ residence. Four suites for eight students each will have their own community kitchen and lounge in each wing. The remaining apartment setups are as follows:
- Two apartments for six (single bedrooms) – includes laundry and two bathrooms
- Two apartments for four (double bedrooms)
- Two apartments for four (single bedrooms)
- One apartment for two (double bedroom)
Each apartment will include a kitchen and private bathroom. These room configurations are not set in stone as the construction crew will need to determine which walls can and cannot be removed, according to Bedtke.
Saint Yon’s should be on the registration list in the spring and students should be able to move in at the start of the fall 2016 semester. Students living in Saint Yon’s will be able to use the parking lot there.
Kendall added that select Ek Family Village (also known as the “Old Village”) units in the poorest condition will be removed from the registration list. Future plans also include a new residence hall near Gilmore Creek offering a variety of living spaces predominantly for sophomores. The new residence hall would likely replace Benilde Hall. Hillside Hall would be open to first-year Living Learning Communities.