Florida A&M's Young Hall, recognized as a male-only dorm, has now become an all-woman dorm to house the large numbers of women students to campus.
The university closed four women's dorms closed the Palmetto North Apartment Complex in the last 12 months. The university traded more than 300 beds between Wheatley, Diamond, Cropper and McGuinn halls on FAMU's the “Set.”
Oscar L. Crumity, director of University Housing, said the university converted the dorm to “provide sufficient accommodation for the enrolled female students.” The university also opened the 800-bed co-ed dorm (a first for FAMU), the FAMU Village, in August.
Young Hall, built in 1929 and recently renovated in 2011, holds 79 spaces. Its companion dorm, Sampson Hall, remains a men-only facility.
Wheatley Hall was closed in Fall 2013, due to the decrease in demand for on-campus housing but recently the new opening of FAMU Village, the six-story 800-bed dorm have resulted in the closure of more facilities on campus.
In a notice released by the State of Florida Board of Governors,
“The capacity of the housing system is expected to decrease by approximately 123 beds for Fall 2014, with the opening of the Project (776 rentable beds) and the simultaneous closure of Cropper Hall (capacity of 137 beds), Diamond Hall (current capacity 105 beds) McGuinn Hall (current capacity of 209 beds), Palmetto North Hall (current capacity of 221 beds) and the conversion of Paddyfoote building A, B, C and D to single suites (reducing capacity from 454 to 227).”
Sampson and Young halls are both registered as historic landmarks. They were closed in 2003 for seven years due to building code violations including deteriorated piping and inadequate fire alarms. Young Hall now includes lounges and energy- efficient laundry rooms.
Although the renovations of both halls took seven years to complete, the results seem to have female residents at Young Hall at ease.
Alana Scott, a first-year political science student, said she prefers living at Young Hall to Palmetto – where she stayed over the summer.
“I love living here so far, I think it’s great…The resident assistants are really nice and the dorm events are a pleasure to go to,” she said.
The renovation to both Sampson and Young Hall cost the university $13.5 million and increased the number of freshmen living spaces.
Aileen Gonzalez, Resident assistant at Young Hall, said she believes that many students only upperclassmen really remember that her dormitory was once only for men.
“Most of my residents are first-year students at FAMU, so they really don't know that Young Hall used to be boy dorm until we tell them,” said Gonzalez, a sophomore English education student. “Those who are returning students however, like staying in Young because it is one of the newer dorms on campus.”
She said the dorm's small size makes it more appealing than the Paddyfoote and Truth Hall women's dorm. She said Young provides “more of a family feel and helps the girls bond better.”