Older dorms to get upgrades

Young Hall is among the residence halls scheduled for an upgrade. Photo by Diamond Postell

Florida A&M University has welcomed new buildings and modifications to existing buildings during the past five years. From new construction and technological advances, FAMU is visibly transforming as it adds a modern touch to “the hill.”

Many students will be delighted to know that on-campus housing upgrades are a top priority for the university, based on a presentation by the Facilities Committee during Wednesday’s Board of Trustees meetings.

Novogradac Company, a consulting firm, was contracted to conduct a housing needs assessment for on-campus residence halls. The company is familiar with the campus. It provided aid in the success of the newest student housing, FAMU Towers.

The student housing analysis surveyed FAMU students and faculty and off-campus housing properties, to determine what changes will improve student life.

The current housing options for reconstruction are underway for the traditional-style dorms of Gibbs, Sampson and Young halls. These residence halls hold the lowest number of occupancy rates out of all campus housing; with Gibbs being vacant since 2019.

Tara Rial, manager of Novogradac Company, said,, “Anything new would be retrofitted to match the current architecture on campus.”

Sampson and Young hall’s will be renovated to preserve the buildings’ legacy status and architecture. The new developments are designed to resemble luxury off-campus housing.

Security measures are increased in the design of the building with electronic entry access and cameras.

Conserving the look and feel of FAMU is important to all Rattlers. Trustee Michael Dubose said, “We received a lot of alumni feedback that regardless of what we do, to keep the name.”

The new amenities will resemble the newer dorms with suite-style rooms, elevators, community kitchens and in-house laundry. For sanitary and privacy reasons, the current option of community bathrooms in Sampson and Young will be eliminated.

Student body President Carrington Whigham asked, “What would be the trajectory of free laundry for students?”

The cost of doing laundry will not be provided at no cost but added to the expenses reserved for living on campus. If this policy becomes effective, students will not have to  pay every time laundry needs to be done but the cost of living on campus will increase.

Providing students with “hotel-style” living, the newest housing addition FAMU Towers opened August of 2020, with a filled occupancy. All FAMU students are encouraged to move into residence halls. With eight on-campus housing options, single rooms and apartment-style options are available each semester.