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Home News Concordia plans renovations, changes to residence halls in fall

Pumpkin banners decorate a hallway in David dorm, which houses primarily first-year female students. 

Photo credit: Josiah Seabaugh

By Hope Nelson


Students were told shortly before they completed their housing forms for the 2024-25 school year that the administration is making some policy updates and renovations to on-campus residential housing when they return to school in August.

The Student Life Office said plans are to renovate Esther dorm and place micro-fridges and microwaves in each dorm room campus-wide, excluding the Jonathan apartments, which already have full-size appliances.

“We’re just constantly looking ahead to the next building that would need to be updated the next few years down the line,” said Rebekah Freed, Concordia’s director of student life.

This summer, Esther is the chosen dorm. The Esther renovations will include a complete update of dorm furnishings, including beds, dressers and desks, said Gene Brooks, Concordia’s vice president of student affairs.

SLO also will assign female residents to the Philip dorm, which currently houses freshman males. Freed said that the addition of about 13 beds to the Esther dorm will open up more space for male students. She also predicted that, without the Philip switch, Concordia’s campus would end up around 20 female beds short next fall.

Freed said SLO has been considering adding the micro-fridges and microwaves for some time.

“Back when Covid was around, we got some to try them out,” said Freed. “We’ve been looking for the right time over the last few years, and we did see the value of them. We saw that students were eager to have them.”

The addition of the appliances means students will no longer be allowed to use their own mini-fridges or microwaves. Brooks and Freed hope the requirement will streamline the student experience and prevent worries about having to store personal appliances over the summer.

The SLO team hopes the changes will help maintain Concordia’s character as a primarily residential campus.

“There’s a reason Concordia is a primarily residential campus, and we want to keep it that way as much as we can,” Freed said. “Students that live on campus are more likely to use [campus resources] as well as just get connected, and form community,” Freed said.

Brooks said Concordia knows that when students move off-campus they can feel less connected.

“Every year we do a student experience survey,” he said. “And one of the questions [asks] about where they’re finding connection. One of the top three was the residence hall floor.”

The SLO team also changed Concordia’s off-campus policy in anticipation of continued high enrollment going into the 2024-25 school year. Students who wish to live off-campus next year must be 21 before Dec. 31, 2024. The current policy requires them to have lived on campus for three years and be 21 by Oct. 15.

Sophomore Hannah Schauer will turn 21 before Dec. 31 but after Oct. 15.

“Making off-campus housing available to additional students opens up space in the dorms to allow for more new students to come in,” she said. “As someone who’s eligible for off-campus housing [next year]…I appreciate having the freedom to choose where I want to live.”

Freed added that the SLO team may need to review the policy again after the upcoming academic school year.

“It doesn’t mean that the policy will change every year,” she said. “It does mean that there will be a conversation each year.”

Concordia expects to welcome an incoming freshman class next fall that is similar in size to the historically large current freshman class. This year’s freshman class increased student enrollment from 1,032 last spring to 1,240 this fall.

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