K-State’s oldest residence halls have face lifts


Many students experience life in the residence halls when they begin at K-State, and several choose to continue the living experience throughout their years on campus. One of the complexes known for housing these upperclassmen – the Strong Complex – is also the oldest and is undergoing renovations.

Camilla Jones, resident life coordinator for the Strong Complex, said the complex has some of the oldest dormitories on campus, including Van Zile, the first permanent residence hall at K-State.

Jones said Van Zile was built in 1926 and was an all-girls dormitory for 151 women. However, it was renovated in 1990 to become a co-ed building for 68 students.

“The complex as a whole is definitely known for returning students,” she said. “I think students appreciate that it is smaller.”

The other residence halls in the complex are Boyd Hall, which is an all-girls dormitory built in 1951, and Putnam Hall, which is a co-ed dormitory built in 1952, she said.

Though the buildings were built several decades ago, Jones said there have not been any major problems. However, she said renovations have been made, including suites added to the basements of Putnam and Boyd Hall.

Each of the halls also has a general maintenance repair technician who monitors the areas and keeps them up to date, she said.

Jones said the buildings are undergoing renovations inside in order to follow fire codes, but most of the work for the halls is to improve the landscape.

“They have been working all around campus,” she said. “We have our own facilities crew that are all housing and dining employees. They decided now is the time to do the Strong Complex.”

She said the outside renovations should be completed by fall 2007 and will include lights in the outside area of the complex, an irrigation system, new pathways, paving of existing pathways and benches.

Joanna Seley, senior in family studies and human services and community assistant at Boyd Hall, said she has lived in the Strong Complex for three years.

Seley said she likes living in the complex because there are a lot of upperclassmen living there, and she is able to see a lot of people she knows when she walks to class because they take similar walking routes from the complex.

She said she likes the appearance of the buildings and the rooms in Boyd Hall because they are all different sizes and shapes.

“It has a smaller feel to it because there is one dining center,” she said.

Rachel Kimminau, freshman in life science and pre-pharmacy, lived in Boyd Hall her first semester at K-State.

“The building looks cool and is charming,” she said.

Though several other freshmen lived with her in the residence hall, Kimminau said she noticed many older students resided in the complex.

“In Van Zile there were especially more upperclassmen,” she said.

Kimminau said she did not feel like she was living in an older building while she was at Boyd Hall because the lobby and rooms were nice. However, she said, the showers needed to be updated.

Jones said the complex has a lot of history and tradition on campus, especially in Van Zile. She said pictures of the first women who lived in the residence hall are displayed in the living area, and often students that live in the residence hall talk about their relatives who once lived there.