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HRL to convert about 180 Hollows single-bed rooms to doubles

About 180 singles in the Hollows will be converted to doubles, according to Joe Gonzalez, assistant vice president of student affairs and dean for residential life.

Originally, the Hollows—slated to open Fall 2019—was going to house 500 students, all in single-person rooms. However, Gonzalez said that Housing and Residence Life decided over the summer that The Hollows should house more students than originally planned.

“As we were looking forward a few years from now, the students from [Duke Kunshan University] will attend Duke as a part of their junior year study program, as well as what we anticipate to be an increased number of transfer students admitted,” Gonzalez said. “To make sure we have the inventory we would need, we felt that we needed to have more students live in the Hollows than the original 500.”

The Hollows offers suite-style living, which includes four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small living room and a kitchenette, Gonzalez said. Along the hallway, three closets are interspersed between the two bathrooms.

Although one-person rooms contain wardrobes, the singles that were converted to doubles will not have a wardrobe inside the bedroom. Instead, Gonzalez said that the double room occupants will use the closets in the hallway, which will allow for more space inside the bedroom.

To determine the set up of the converted singles, Gonzalez brought in students to view mock ups of the different possibilities.

Junior Sanya Kochhar, vice president for campus life, went with a group of students to look at the mock-ups. One possibility included lofted beds with a desk, wardrobe and shelves underneath. However, they concluded that this style felt too cramped and blocked window space. 

“What we finally decided on was to keep a lot of the original furniture because it seemed the most breathable despite all the different combinations we tried, and we felt there was enough wardrobe space in the hall,” Kochhar said.

One concern Kochhar noted is that if six people are living in the suite, then they need to realize that the people in the doubles need the hallway closet space more than those in the singles. She hopes this caveat will be communicated well to the students.

Kochhar said that the converted singles are not so small that they are unlivable, and the living area and common rooms in the Hollows offer a lot of space. Students also have to walk by the common rooms to get to their suite, which she explained can help create community.

“I think students will really enjoy the environment. I think that the suite-style is very different from what we offer in the other buildings on West, and for some students, that environment will be exactly what they prefer,” Gonzalez said. “It gives us more alternatives on West in terms of style of housing, and I think that’s a good thing.”

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