Towson is one building closer to completing the 2016 Master Plan. It is always encouraging to cross objectives off of long lists, and certainly finishing a construction project is cause for celebration.
Newell Hall is one of the oldest buildings on the Towson University campus and is approaching its centennial anniversary. Built in 1914 and named after the Towson’s first principal, Newell Hall was the first residence hall on campus. Towson has invested $20 million in preserving the historic Newell and Richmond Halls. This project is not just about combating the effects of aging, but also about making the building efficient and equipping it with modern technology and accommodations.
On Wednesday, January 23, the reopening of Newell Hall was marked by a ribbon cutting ceremony and tours. Dr. Deb Moriarty, President Loeschke and Jerry Dieringer all gave brief speeches at the ceremony commending a job well done. Next, students led tours showing both the modern amenities and the preservation of the building’s historical features.
The renovation updated the building’s discreet Wi-Fi nodes, added room sensors that turn the heating or AC on or off in accordance with the room’s occupancy, added better cable and Ethernet outlets and installed new kitchens. The security system also received an overhaul, complete with hidden security cameras at the entrance.
The rich history of the building, well preserved in the renovation, really makes the residence hall feel inviting. The common areas and lounges are small and intimate, often separated from the hallways by glass walls. The original fireplaces serve as the focal points in a number of lounges that are lit by calm lighting or large, elegant windows. Although these fireplaces are sealed and non-functioning for safety reasons, students will undoubtedly find creative ways to decorate and enjoy them.
The ultimate focus, however, is the students’ rooms. These spacious and fully stocked suits have new carpet, furniture, microwaves, refrigerators and windows that open (not all of the university’s residence halls have this feature in the interest of safety). Furthermore, no two rooms are exactly alike, which grant each room a special and unique quality. The Newell Hall renovation is but another example of Towson University’s commitment to better education and a better college experience.