Vaselakos Hall, one of the six residence halls on the Missouri Western campus, will be remodeled during the 2022-23 academic year. The hall is currently closed and will remain so until construction is complete.
Vaselakos is the fifth residence hall to be updated in the past two years, following Scanlon, Juda, Beshears, and Vartabedian.
Plans to remodel Vaselakos have been in place for some time now. Darrell Morrison, the vice president of finance and administration, explained the cause for the construction and how the school has handled the closure.
“We have closed Vaselakos due to student demand,” Morrison said. “At this time, we have enough residence hall space for our students in the other halls, and this is really planned in that way that Vaselakos was our contingency. We would only open it if needed for our students, because it gives us an opportunity to refresh, remodel, and do some things that we don’t have an opportunity to do.”
After the remodel is complete, Vaselakos residents will see new carpeting, paint, lighting, and furnishings. They will also receive general maintenance and repairs. These updates will take time to complete, and Morrison spoke about the challenges of deciding when to schedule remodels across campus.
“One of the problems that we face in remodeling residence halls is when to do it,” Morrison said. “There’s a limited amount of time for our campus community -- in a sense of in the summer months when you would normally do maintenance and repairs -- and so by taking it offline for this particular year, that allows us more time to do it, because we devote the rest of our time to academic spaces.”
After work in Vaselakos is complete, the school plans to remodel Leaverton Hall. Although Leaverton and Vaselakos are the only halls yet to see renovations, Morrison mentioned plans to update all residence buildings every five to six years to maintain their quality.
Work has not yet begun in Vaselakos, though the building has been closed to students. Construction is due to start in the next few months. Missouri Western plans to have the building back open by the fall of 2023.
Many Missouri Western students reported feeling uninformed about the remodel happening in Vaselakos. Samantha Downs, a freshman, suggested in the future, the information being more easily available, such as through the Missouri Western website or through the Resident Assistants. She also expressed concerns for freshmen next year.
"For freshmen, if they were to move in there next year, we would know nothing about it," Downs said. "So like, we wouldn't know if we would want to move in there because they're doing different things."
Zach Oliver, a senior, spoke about how he had come by the information by word of mouth.
"All I know is there's some construction. Somebody told me, and I was like, 'Oh, wow, that's cool.'"
Morrison could not share the construction cost of Vaselakos at this time, though he explained that the expense of the Scanlon Hall renovations costed roughly 1.2 million dollars.
Most students who requested living in Vaselakos for this semester moved to Leaverton. Morrison expressed he had no concern for space and said Missouri Western had more beds than students currently living on campus.
Morrison shared how he feels the remodels will benefit Missouri Western as a campus and home. He also praised those leading the renovations.
“We hope to have a better environment, better living conditions, things like that,” Morrison said. “I’m very appreciative of our Residence Life Director John Vanderpool and Dr. Brett Bruner. They are instrumental in this.”