The Stewart-Odell renovation is complete. During the Spring 2023 semester, into the summer, the residence hall known as Stewart-Odell was under renovation. According to the Lewis & Clark website, the renovation cost around $13 million and took about nine months to complete.
The construction began on Dec.15, 2022, and ended just in time for students to move in on Sept. 2, 2023. Now the Stewart residence hall has improved buildings’ accessibility and sustainability and is the first resident hall on campus with air conditioning.
According to the LC website, there is a new quieter heating and cooling system that is capable of transferring heating or cooling to other parts of the building. This new heating and cooling system is environmentally friendly and uses no fossil fuels. Ben Meoz, the head of campus living, is most excited about the new bathrooms and the accessibility improvements that have been made to the building.
“While we have treated nearly all restrooms in residential facilities as All Gender restrooms, these are the first shared restrooms built for that purpose with individual shower rooms and toilet rooms,” Meoz said. “As for accessibility, the building now has added powered exterior doors for ADA access, a new ADA laundry room, a new ramp inside, and two rooms with powered doors as well.”
According to the LC website, over 48% of the construction of The Stewart-Odell buildings was to enhance accessibility. In addition the building’s renovations also included a new roof, new paint and new windows. The building has now been painted white and black, and matches the aesthetic of The Stephanie Fowler Center, located right next to the Stewart-Odell resident halls.
Although this year, Stewart-Odell houses mostly returning students, Meoz said that Campus Living would like to get some new students into Odell next year because of the “sophomore and up” restrictions, such as the one for Holmes, that keep new housing out of reach for first time students.
As for the future of Stewart-Odell in terms of the Living Learning Communities (LLC), Campus Living is currently trying to review the residence halls to determine the best location for the LLCs in the communities across residential halls.
Meoz expresses his hopes that student perspectives on the renovation will give Campus Living insight as they continue planning residential changes.
“I hope that when we gather student feedback in our annual Fall Resident Survey in November that the features and improvements from the renovation will be evident and that we can use that to inform discussions about future residential capital projects,” said Meoz.