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Dryden to be Repurposed for Special Housing

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Dryden to be Repurposed for Special Housing

Brad Brown

Brad Brown

Brad Brown

By Brad Brown, Managing Editor

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EWU’s largest single-occupancy residence hall is about to undergo major changes compared to its current usage.

Coming next fall, Dryden Hall will no longer be available as an on-campus student housing option and will be repurposed to serve “special hosting” needs.

“The project is really to provide opportunities and services for our admissions team and people who are coming to campus with large groups and need a place to stay,” said Josh Ashcroft, senior director of Housing and Residential Life. “We have a ton of requests from high school groups that want to come visit campus for a day, and those groups continue to get larger and more frequent.”

One hundred and twenty nine single-occupancy rooms, the amount Dryden Hall currently offers, are to be reworked into various halls and facilities. The north side of Dryden Hall that houses 21 and over students will be moving over to Morrison Hall.

“We know we have a student population at Dryden that wants all singles,” said Ashcroft. “So we made sure that we incorporated those singles within the other residence halls that we have.”

After the recent spike in EWU’s student enrollment from 2008-2014, which saw a 20 percent increase and six consecutive record-enrollment years, EWU’s student population has since remained steady.

The year the enrollment began was 2014, which also marked the largest residential population in EWU’s 132-year history, with more than 2000 students living on campus. To accommodate the soaring enrollment numbers, the $25 million living facility of snyamncut was built as EWU’s first new residence hall in 42 years.

Losing one of EWU’s eight residence halls will lower the overall total number of on-campus rooms available to students, but Ashcroft said the student’s housing demands will be met.

“Right now we have enough beds to meet our current demand,” said Ashcroft. “What we’re constantly doing is looking at the current amount of beds that we have, what’s the current number of students who are requesting on-campus housing and what kind of housing are they looking for.”

While the short-term plan for Dryden Hall is set to be used for “special hosting” needs, Ashcroft said the building could still go back to student housing if it was needed to meet student demands.  

“It’s a strategic decision of how can we maximize our beds in the fewest facilities that we have,” said Ashcroft. “That way you are maximizing your staffing and the student experience because for us, we want our floors and communities to be full.”

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Dryden to be Repurposed for Special Housing