By CAROLYN PLANTIN
Palm Apartments Phase II officially opened its doors to students as the Spring 2017 semester commenced. This new addition includes a game room, meeting room and a lobby on the first floor, as well as new sets of elevators and a common room on each floor. A total of 36 new rooms have opened, allowing students to move in. About 120 students moved into the new addition, with most coming from the Barrymore hotel, where they were previously housed.
Samuel Maystrovky, a junior chemistry major, was moved from the hotel to the new part of Palm this semester. He was unable to chose his roommates but is still relieved to now officially live on campus.
“I found out I was moving into Palm during finals week last semester,” Maystrovky said. “I was pretty excited. Walking back and forth from the Barrymore took time out of my day that I could’ve used in a more productive way. Now, if I forget something in my dorm room, I don’t have to walk off campus to go get it.”
Diego Patino, a sophomore majoring in biology, worked as a resident assistant in the Barrymore hotel last semester and moved to Palm Apartments to become an RA there this spring.
“Most of the residents in Palm II are residents who moved from the Barrymore, and I can honestly say that they have changed for the better,” Patino said. “In the Barrymore, residents were in a way, aloof; they didn’t really interact with each other or with their RAs, but being on campus they are all much happier with their living arrangements and much more involved in the community.”
The new lobby in Palm is modern and allows students to convene in a common area, which Palm Apartments did not have in the past.
Lauralee Small, a sophomore sports management major, lived in Palm before the new addition, so she was able to experience the change.
“I love the new lobby; it is stylish and convenient,” Small said. “I believe Palm will have more of a sense of community than it had in the past because students now have a place to hang out. The pool tables, television and the foosball make for good entertainment in the game room; hopefully students will be able to socialize more than they did last semester.”
Construction on Palm Apartments should officially be completed at the beginning of next school year. This new addition, which just opened, was constructed in just a few months. The new rooms are identical to the Palm rooms that have been constructed about two years ago.
“The rooms are for the most part are very nice, although I’ve noticed a few small cracks and holes from the construction workers slamming the fridge into the wall,” Maystrovky said.
The Resident Assistants now have a place to sit during their nightly duty hours. In the past, RAs did rounds in Urso, Smiley, and Palm, never being able to stay in Palm because there was no front desk. Now, the Palm RAs can do their rounds in the building and then sit at the new front desk, where students can find them if they need help.
Carlie Austin, a senior majoring in pre-medicine biology and an RA in Palm, enjoys the new construction and finds it convenient not only for the residents, but also for the resident assistants.
“Having a lobby, a desk as well as an office, has made it easier for RAs to perform their job,” Austin said. “We now have a place to file paperwork and a place we can sit and work out duty shifts and so it really has just made everything a lot more convenient.”
Carolyn Plantin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.