Renovated Residence Hall Opens Doors to New Students
Move-in day for new Nebraska Wesleyan University students is typically hot and humid.
For those students who moved into Johnson Hall on August 22, they walked into something that no other Johnson Hall residents had ever experienced: air conditioning.
This summer the University’s oldest residence hall underwent a $1.9 million renovation. The biggest enhancement — and perhaps the one that excites the students the most — is air conditioning. The renovation also includes remodeling of all interior spaces, expansion of restrooms, new roof and windows, new furniture, handicap accessibility, and elevator access to all four floors.
Johnson Hall is home to approximately 100 female students, mostly first-year students.
While the renovation is substantial, it has not changed the look of the building.
“It was important to preserve the historical nature of Johnson Hall,” said Clark Chandler, Vice President for Finance and Administration.
Even though students are moved in, efforts to raise funds for the preservation of the 66-year-old building continue. To date, 69 donors have contributed toward the Johnson Hall Preservation Project, which will maintain the building for future generations. There are a number of naming opportunities available for Johnson Hall lounges, computer labs, and resident rooms.
An open house for Johnson Hall will be held Saturday, October 20 at 10:15 a.m.
In addition to the Johnson Hall renovation, students were welcomed back by several other additions.
Parking — A new parking lot near 53rd and Madison Ave. will provide approximately 50 stalls. Three houses were torn down to provide for the parking lot. Nearly all materials from the houses were recycled.
Wireless internet — Wireless internet has been installed in all campus housing.
Fire Sprinklers Installation — Fire sprinklers in the last of eight Nebraska Wesleyan sororities and fraternities are being installed. The sororities and fraternities utilized the University’s Greek Fire Safety Program, which provided each Greek house with a 20-year interest-free loan up to $67,000 to install sprinklers. The University required all Greek houses to install fire sprinklers by September 2012. NWU is among few college campuses in the country that has installed fire sprinklers in all of its campus housing.
Picnic tables — Picnic tables with umbrellas has been added on the south side of Story Student Center, just outside the Coffee House.
Programs — New programs have been added to the Wesleyan Advantage Program, the University’s adult degree program. Through a new partnership with Iowa Western Community College (IWCC), Nebraska Wesleyan now offers a bachelor of science degree in nursing at IWCC’s Council Bluff’s campus and Clarinda, Iowa, center. In Omaha, Nebraska Wesleyan now offers a bachelor of science degree in social work.
The new academic year also mark’s Nebraska Wesleyan University’s 125th anniversary. The celebration officially kicks off on September 20 with the annual Visions & Ventures Symposium, a cornerstone ceremony, campus photo and campus picnic. The celebration continues throughout the year with homecoming, a 12,500 hour service challenge, and a Tedx:Nebraska Wesleyan conference.