Residence halls receive new bathroom renovations


Hannah Olson / Iowa State Daily

Barton Residence Hall, built in 1916, undergoes some summer renovations on May 23. Many on campus projects are underway while the majority of students are off campus for the summer.

Ryan Pattee

After years of waiting, six of Iowa State’s Richardson Court residence halls will be undergoing bathroom renovations.

The bathrooms in Birch, Welch, Roberts, Barton, Lyon and Freeman residence halls will be renovated in order to align them with requirements laid out in the Americans with Disabilities Act. The project, which began in May 2016, has been in talks since Pete Englin became Iowa State’s Director for the Department of Housing. 

“We looked at doing renovations for bathrooms, probably when I started as director 12 years ago,” Englin said. Residence halls across campus have been doing bathroom renovations since 1999 when Maple Hall got community restrooms similar to Larch and Willow.

The current renovation project in Richardson Court has taken much longer due to a lack of funding.

“It’s all been about budgeting, it always has,” Englin said.

Ideally, these projects would be taken care of quickly and efficiently, however funding has been focused on larger projects and issues happening on campus.

Now that housing does have the funds they are sparing no time in getting the Richardson Court project done.

These bathrooms will align with the requirements of ADA, which will provide easier access and facility usage to students with disabilities. Due to budgeting, the university has been behind on accommodating for these ADA regulations.

The renovations in these halls include a community sink for residents to talk to one another while getting ready for their morning classes. While the communal sink will allow a social aspect, the rest of the bathrooms will allow for more privacy in both the restrooms and the showers.

Both the bathrooms and showers will be self-enclosed and will prevent any possibility of spying or taking photos of other students while using those facilities, an issue that Englin stated had occurred on other campuses, and is tackling with the layout of the renovations.

Overall, the renovations will create safe and improved facilities for students who live in those Richardson Court residence halls Englin’s plan for the future is to continue renovating the current bathrooms and hopefully get some feedback to do more renovations in the future.