Hebron Hall will be closed for the 2017-2018 academic year, President Darrel Colson has announced.
Colson said the decision took time, as he started discussing the future of the building with multiple individuals as well as the President’s Advisory Committee in October and the final decision was not made until January.
“We’re working on our budget and trying to be sure that we’re exercising good stewardship of our resources,” Colson said.
He said every summer the college invests upwards of half a million dollars in the college’s physical facilities. This includes basic maintenance and repair items, varying from repairing sidewalks, boilers, windows and roofs.
“We are in the cycle of repairing and replacing equipment but then what that means is we’re in a routine of making sure every building maintains status quo,” Colson said.
In the coming year, he said all funds will be used on updating the Manors.
He said using all of the funds for the Manors buildings will not go for status quo, but instead work on raising the bar for the facilities Wartburg has.
“You might have heard from students from time to time there are some issues that happen in the Manors that we address as they come up but I think our sense right now is if we can focus on those for the summer, we could resolve them once and for all,” Colson said.
Colson said another reason they have decided to defer working on Hebron Hall this summer is a new planning process about to begin called “Focus on the Future.”
With seven task forces, he said the college will be able to examine the college’s opportunities and needs to get some advice.
He is hoping one of the task forces that focuses on the living and learning environment will help with making advancements in Centennial Complex.
Colson said he likes the faculty presence in Clinton Hall and is hoping some other interesting ideas come out of the task forces.
Seth Jobes-Ryan, a Resident Assistant who is living in Hebron for the first time this year, said he thinks other students will be happy about the change.
“I think they, like me, will see the good that will come from this and be optimistic and excited for the future outlook that this shows on the part of the college,” he said.
Colson said there will not be any obvious changes in the layout and design of the Manors with these new funds.
“We just want to make sure the heaters work well, the windows work well, the air circulation works well,” Colson said.
He said two of the buildings have some issues the college has been trying to address over the past few years.
Colson said one issue was moisture, which he said the college can address with adequate resources to do it.
Students who are more interested in the future of Hebron can attend the Student Senate meeting Thursday, where Colson will speak.