Mark Twain to be renovated

The 46-year-old residence hall is closing next semester to undergo major reconstruction.

Renovations for Mark Twain Residence Hall will soon be underway as part of MU’s Residential Life Master Plan. As the end of fall semester draws near, residents of Mark Twain have to quickly find and apply for housing elsewhere on campus.

Students wishing to speed up the process of moving were able to sign up for between-hall room changes Aug. 31, a week before other students, and received priority for placement.

Other students who chose to remain in Mark Twain until the end of the semester will complete a hall preference form in November to determine their new homes for after the winter break. Residential Life will provide moving services to those who selected this option.

“We get to pick either the actual room or our roommate as a priority,” freshman and current Mark Twain resident Lyn Sweet said.

Housing in Mark Twain was necessary first semester because of the vast number of students living on campus. The building can hold 395 students.

But, Residential Life expects a decrease in the number of on-campus residents next semester, thus making room for the newly homeless Mark Twain dwellers.

In the past four years, an average of 500 students moved out of residence halls each year during spring semester, Residential Life Facilities Associate Director Harriett Green-Sappington said.

“These vacancies are a result of students who may choose to leave the university, students who chose study abroad, student-teach or are relocating for internships,” she said.

Mark Twain Market, which is attached to the residence hall, will also receive a facelift beginning May 2012.

“We are expanding Campus Dining to accommodate more guests,” Green-Sappington said.

The Market will open again in Aug. 2013 along with the residence hall.

Friday is the last day of operation for the residence hall’s pool. It was not used enough during its availability for Residential Life to see a point in renovating it.

“It’s actually pretty gross,” Sweet said about the pool. “The water is a weird color, and when you sit on the side, the white paint rubs off on you.”

Other modifications to the building include redesigning the hall’s entrance.

“The entrance will be similar to Rollins in that everybody will come through the same entrance,” Green-Sappington said. “The main entry gives the option of entering either the residence hall or Market.”

Sophomore Mark Twain resident Bethany Christo has mixed feelings about the renovations. She cited a certain "character” the building had.

“You could tell there had been years and years of college students living there,” she said. “It was so unbelievably crappy. We didn’t have to worry about messing anything up.”

Some quirks Christo mentioned about the 46-year-old building were the highly dysfunctional elevators and electric circuits with very low tolerance.

“Someone from three doors down could turn on a hair dryer, and then when I turned mine on at the same time we blew a circuit,” she said. “We had to coordinate getting ready every morning.”

But the lived-in feel of the building also let everyone feel at home during his or her stay.

“I look at other dorms and they look like hotels and you feel like a visitor,” Christo said. “Twain was a home.”

More Stories