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Badin Hall renovations continue as community reflects on their year in Pangborn

| Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Since the beginning of the academic year, the 140 residents of Badin Hall have been living in Pangborn Hall on South Quad while their own dorm is renovated. Just like Walsh Hall last year, the women of Badin will have a number of changes when they move back into their home dorm next fall. Among these upgrades, the residents can look forward to a new chapel, a new air-conditioned lounge and kitchen area on every floor and an enlarged exercise room. Additionally, a room to house an in-residence priest and an elevator will be installed. Badin previously lacked both of these amenities.

Senior Bridget Rickard, Badin Hall’s president, expressed sadness she will graduate before being able to live in the newly-renovated hall, but is excited for her fellow residents.

Kelli Smith | The Observer

Badin Hall, pictured here, is undergoing an extensive renovation during the 2017-2018 academic year. As a result of the construction, members of the Badin community will be living in Pangborn Hall for the year.

“I think the girls are looking forward to actual kitchens — we don’t really have kitchens either here or in old Badin — and study spaces, which we were really lacking,” Rickard said. “We’re really looking forward to a bug-free dorm. We had a lot of problems with roach infestations and bats, and we’re also really hoping that the University will address the water problem, which is prolific across campus. … But I think what we’re most excited about is the new chapel. It’s an addition to Badin — a physical addition on the Howard side of the hall. And the University has procured, I think, six or seven, seven to nine–foot stained glass windows from a donor, and they’re valued over $500,00, so it’ll be a really beautiful place to worship.”

Though Badin residents are living in a physically different space this year, their community and its traditions remain unchanged despite the news, sophomore Alice Felker said.

“Badin has really thrived in Pangborn this year. Our hall leadership has worked hard to continue the traditions and tight community that that make Badin the amazing hall that it is. Badin really is about the people and the commitment to a family atmosphere,” she said. “In that sense, this year has been just like any other. I think it makes me even more excited for us to move into our old — now new — home. We all went through this process of moving together, now we’ve grown immensely as a hall community, and we’re ready to enjoy Badin 3.0.”

The Badin community’s small size is one of its advantages, Rickard said, which makes it easy for everyone to know each other, even if they live in different sections.

“I think the greatest benefit of this dorm actually is that it’s brought people together, because we have this adversity, so to speak, of being moved away from our home,” she said. “I think it’s proven to us that Badin is Badin, regardless of the structure.”

Sophomore Ale Orellana–Muniz said that though she misses Badin’s community spaces in Pangborn and she hopes that post–renovation Badin will incorporate such gathering places.

“What I miss the most of living in old Badin is the amount of common spaces we had available,” Orellana–Muniz said. “Hanging out in the second floor landing was such a fun and easy way to run into people you wouldn’t normally see around the hall. It really reinforced the sense of community. Hopefully, new Badin helps us foster a continued sense of unity through more places to gather and enjoy time together as we adjust to this new chapter in the history of our hall.”

Sophomore Louise Gregory also expressed her excited anticipation for the opportunity to move back in.

“I’m really excited [to move back in], because I miss my high ceilings,” Gregory said. “I couldn’t actually hit my head on anything in old Badin, now I can, even though my bed is … a foot shorter when it’s lofted now. I think we might even have more spirit this year, because we’re determined to not let the building get to us.”

Badin Hall rector, Sister Susan Sisko, said that the renovations are on schedule and the new chapel is already visible outside. Other changes to the hall Sisko mentioned include an increased number of study spaces, repairs to the slant on the first floor, and the conversion of several singles to doubles. The old chapel, she said, will be repurposed for office space and the rector’s living quarters.

“Badin is a building with a lot of character, a lot of warmth,” she said. “It will retain all of that, they’re not taking away any of that character.”

Sisko said she was very proud of all her residents for embracing their experience in Pangborn hall.

“Of course, they’d rather be in Badin — it’s their home and it’s the residence hall they love,” she said. “But they’ve embraced the challenge, they’ve come together as a community and I think it’s been a really good experience here. It’s also shown that the Badin community is more than a building, it’s a community — they can thrive anywhere, and they’ve certainly been thriving here. That said, I’m sure they’re looking forward with anxious anticipation to get back and see what the new building is going to be like.”

News Writers Tom Naatz Kelli Smith contributed to this report. 

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