Residential Facility Map

Blue: Renovations

Red: Demolitions

With the decline of on-campus enrollment, Northwest has created a plan to right-size housing on campus by demolishing and renovating residential buildings. 

The Residential Facility Plan spans over the next seven fiscal years with over $8.2 million going toward improvements to current buildings and the removal of others. The current plan is to remove Phillips Hall and North Complex and renovate 10 residential halls. 

Vice President of Student Affairs Matt Baker and Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs for Residential and Auxiliary Services Rose Viau said this plan isn’t completely new, but rather a revamped version of plans that were made over 20 years ago. 

“We're really trying to address student space needs, infrastructure needs,” Baker said. “And then the other part in this plan is to remove 800, 750 beds.” 

Northwest currently has the capacity to house 2,873 students, which is around 56% of all undergraduate enrollment. After comparing itself with other schools like Fort Hays State University and Missouri Western State University, who have the capacity to house less than 45% of its students, Northwest decided to reevaluate the number of beds and the residential buildings that are necessary for student housing. 

Baker said from 2008-12 there was a massive spike in enrollment which correlated with more need for on-campus housing. At that point, every building was in use because of that increase in enrollment, but the plan was originally to take down other residential buildings after building Hudson-Perrin Halls in 2007. 

This fiscal year, which started July 1, lays out plans for the demolition of Phillips Hall. Phillips Hall was last occupied during the fall 2014 semester, and with it being unoccupied for the last eight years, the University believes it’s time to come down. 

In the presentation given at the work session prior to the Sept. 8 Board of Regents meeting, it outlined that the removal of Phillips alone would cost around $1.2 million. 

The second demolition to begin during this fiscal year is to North Complex. The tentative plan for tearing down the nearly 60-year-old building is to start with $100,000 and then do the rest of the $1.1 million in leveling the surface during the 2024 fiscal year. 

Viau said within this year there will be studies done to the building to find things like hazardous waste material and figure out a way to safely bring down North Complex without impacting the rest of Northwest since the building sits on top of tunnels that run throughout campus. 

The tentative plans could include North Complex coming down as early as summer 2023 or the following summer. 

North Complex is currently home to the Title IX and Equity Office, the Regional Professional Development Council and the Career Closet. Baker said those offices have been talking about plans on where they will be relocating when North Complex is removed. 

As of now, there are no official plans, but possibilities of some of the offices moving to Martindale Hall after it is renovated. Baker said a space planning committee on campus helps with the plan, and it is like playing a game of Jenga. 

“It's about long-term planning, and it's about trying to find the best space and the most efficient use of space,” Baker said. 

As for the demolition of the building, Baker and Viau said there are still costs associated with having a building on campus whether or not it is in use. Property insurance along with other utilities still are costly items for unused buildings. 

“We usually still run the heat and the AC and the water and electricity,” Baker said. “So there is cost and empty buildings. So if we get to the point where we aren't using another high rise, and we don't foresee using another high rise, I would imagine we could consider taking it down.” 

When it comes to North Complex and Phillips Hall, there was talk on whether renovation and repurposing of those spaces would be a better option than erasure of the structures. 

“In the case of North and Phillips, they're beyond their useful life,” Baker said. “And so making them in the makerspace is not practical.” 

The cost of renovating and repurposing the space is less than the cost of completely tearing down the building, so Baker and Viau decided the best option would be to remove the buildings completely. With the removal of these buildings, Baker said the construction will mainly happen throughout the summer, and there isn’t a plan to shut down any roads or other buildings because of this. 

Baker also said  no one will be losing their job as a result of these buildings being closed. Custodians and other people who work within the facilities will simply be relocated throughout campus. 

After the removal of the buildings, as of now, there are no plans in the books to build anything new. Baker said the main goal is to renovate the current facilities to try and attract new students to campus. 

Currently, Northwest pays around $5.3 million a year in debt for residential and auxiliary buildings, but the debt is to be completely paid off by 2029. 

“We have $5.3 million dollars a year in debt, and so we need to pay that off,” Baker said. “We are, we're doing fine, but we don't have great revenue to build new or think about the future. And so until we get to 2029, our goal is to make the best spaces we can to recruit students to Northwest and then see where we're at.” 

After that debt is paid off, Viau said there is a possibility of using that money toward new buildings, renovations or even the lowering of housing prices. For now, the plan outlines the renovation of the current spaces on campus.  

The buildings on campus are ranked on an industry standard Facility Conditions Index. Currently, Hudson-Perrin is ranked the highest at 10% and in fair condition, but the range ends at 133% with North Complex. 

The presentation outlined the tentative timeline for renovations to be made in the other residential facilities on campus. The first is Forest Village Apartments, which sits at 18% FCI and in poor condition. The first building to be improved is Willow with around $500,000 worth of renovations to be made over the next year. 

Forest Village Sycamore and Hawthorne buildings are to be renovated during the 2024 fiscal year, each equating around $500,000. Next up is Tower Suites, which currently is at 21% on the FCI and in poor condition. 

Tower Suites East is planned to be renovated for $800,000 in the 2025 fiscal year. South Complex, which is 39% on the FCI and in critical condition, is also planned to have $980,000 of renovations made the same year. 

Tower Suites West is planned to have $800,000 of renovations in the 2026 fiscal year. The next year has plans for Hudson Hall to be renovated for $500,000, with Perrin Hall following in 2028 fiscal year with $800,000 to be made in renovations. 

The final year of the plan brings $300,000 of renovations to Roberta Hall, at which the building sits at 19% on the FCI and is in poor condition. Franken Hall is also included in this year for another $300,000, as it sits at 36% on the FCI and is in critical condition. 

The renovations to be made to the halls have been made based on student feedback and surveys. The presentation given at the work session outlined 10 different student living expectations. Based on the feedback, students said they wanted to see more apartment-style housing options, large community spaces, fob readers on all bathrooms, water stations on all floors of a building, window coverings in each hall, more washers and dryers per building, more control over heating and cooling, more personal private spaces, moveable furniture and more private or pod-style rooms. 

This feedback is being taken into consideration when planning the renovations made to each hall. Forest Village Apartments have already begun improvements to Willow building like starting to bring in hardwood flooring. 

Despite having a plan to make over $8.2 million in renovations and demolition over the next seven years, Baker said housing prices aren’t expected to go up more than what would usually be seen from year-to-year due to the Consumer Price Index. 

Though many other halls have plans for hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovations, Dieterich Hall has no plans for renovation within this plan. Dieterich Hall sits at 78% on the FCI and is in critical condition, along with Millikan Hall, which is at 65% and is also in critical condition. 

The presentation given at the work session had Millikan Hall and Dieterich Hall on the list of possible demolitions to be made in the future. While there is no official plan to tear those buildings down, Baker said Northwest will continue to evaluate based on capacity and student need. 

With the removal of some buildings, Viau said there are a multitude of different possibilities of what can be made of the spaces. 

“We know that our students' needs for what they want and where they're wanting to live are changing,” Viau said. “So we don't know, as Matt said, are we going to take down other high rises? We might. But we might build some apartments or something because students are very interested in apartments. So that's why we don't really want to make that rash decision.” 

Baker and Viau said the goal for this plan isn’t to make one-time changes to buildings all over campus, but rather build a cycle for building renovations. 

“This is about the future of Northwest, this is about recruiting students, this is about creating the experience that people want to enroll here for,” Baker said. “So I think it's our commitment to, you know, long-term viability and success at Northwest and make sure the halls stay in great shape and provide that great experience."

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