Haskell Hall Annex may soon close
TNE Editor
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Haskell Hall Annex may soon close

Published 12/6/17

Trenton Morgan

TNE Writer

Haskell Hall was built as the male dormitory counterpart to Wilson Hall in 1937. The Haskell Hall Annex was built in 1960 and holds up to 96 residents, most of which belong to the Cherokee Promise Scholarship. Haskell Hall was eventually converted to office space and the Haskell Hall Annex renovated for residential use, but residential usage of the annex may soon stop.

“The plan to close Haskell after the spring 2018 semester is just a proposed plan at this point,” said Craig Reinehr, Housing and Residence Life director. “In looking at the needed repairs and renovations in the building, as well as the available space in other buildings, not utilizing this space until it could be renovated was the most logical choice. With existing space within other housing units, we have the ability to not utilize the Haskell rooms and plan to renovate it effectively.  This can't be done with general maintenance and repairs and with the building occupied. After the annex closes, the plan is to optimize the existing housing space that we have.”

The talk to potentially close and renovate the Haskell Annex has come with the building’s wear and tear. Although the building has seen a few renovations over the past few years, such as a new roof, windows, amenities and boiler, the building is still needing more to ensure comfortable living.

Reinehr said many of the mechanical systems that operate the building, such as air conditioning, furnace and plumbing, are at or beyond the life expectancy.  Failures in these mean the inability to provide the necessary services for a dormitory. Reinehr said there is a need for renovations to these types of items that would require a total replacement.

“It’s bittersweet to think of Haskell closed,” said Heather Emery, Haskell area coordinator. “It's an area I oversee and have for several years now, and I would hate to potentially not have residents living in areas that I oversee. However, it would be a step in a positive direction to vacate the building so that it could undergo much needed improvements and renovations. I know that many students who live there have expressed worry for living in other places because they want to keep in the community that they reside and also have an affordable option for campus, but we definitely have other areas that can fit those needs. Haskell is challenging and we do as much as we can to resolve issues.”

Haskell may have its issues, but some residents still find the hall comforting and to be home. With the incidents that have happened during this semester, the Haskell resident assistants have done their best to help their floors.

Angela Washington, Haskell resident assistant, said the building has a very homely feeling, which may be a turnoff to others, but she enjoys it. She hopes wherever Cherokee Promise Scholars would be moved, they would still get to have the same type of community they currently have in Haskell.

“Even with the problems, most of the students enjoy living in Haskell and having a space that is all their own,” said Sami Noisey, Haskell resident assistant. “Seeing the strong-knit community that Cherokee Promise is and getting to know some of the students who are a part of the program has been enjoyable. Just working on staff is amazingly fun and Angela Washington has made working in Haskell great even through the challenges. I’m excited, although this building has been on campus for a long time and represents part of NSU history, I

feel as though the bad outweighs the good and moving residents will be okay. It has been a lot of fun and getting to know the residents has been awesome.”

Reinehr said after the annex closes, the plan is to optimize the existing housing space that NSU has. In doing so, they should be able to maintain the current buildings, continue to pay off debt from recent builds and renovations and potentially afford to take on the debt that would be required to renovate Haskell.  Reinehr said the goal is to renovate the annex space and use it for future housing needs, but exact plans will not be discussed until funding for such a project is secured.

For more information, visit the Housing and Residence Life office in Leoser and talk to Reinehr or email Reinehr at reinehr@nsuok.edu.

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