New DSU residence hall opens

DOVER — Like so many others, Carlos Henry seemed just a bit dazzled.
The new Tubman-Laws Residential Hall is something special, he said.

“This is the first I’m seeing of it and it’s amazing,” the Delaware State University senior said Friday morning. “I feel like I’m living in a hotel. The only thing missing is room service.”

As the university’s annual Welcome Week continued, the resident assistant greeted arriving students entering the five story, 200,000 square foot expanse of contemporary space designed to house up to 620 in condo style living.

Holding bedding and rugs in both arms, Troy Smart received early rave reviews from his daughter Tyana.

“She always wants to be in new stuff and all this looks really new,” Mr. Smart said.

Aiyana Bullock, a junior, pointed to the Roku televisions and ping pong tables among the diversions from an often rigorous academic experience.

“There’s so many things here that you’re not used to in a dorm,” she said.
The $72 million public/private project replaced the long-standing Tubman and Laws halls and saved more than $15 million in deferred maintenance. When plans were announced nearly two yeas ago, university officials noted that only 2,300 of 4,600 current students lived on campus.

On Friday the chief concern was moving in the pillows and blankets, steam cookers, refrigerators and clothes. Vehicles lined up at both sides of the hall to unload, with students joined by all generations of family members and friends.

“There are some nerves working right now,” Ms. Bullock said. “That always comes with moving into some new place and setting up but there’s also excitement in looking forward to creating new experiences.”
Suzette Lee took comfort in her daughter’s access to the new dining facility and proximity to class buildings.

“There’s something to be said for staying close to home, especially at night,” Ms. Lee said.

Added Ms. Lee, “She came out saying ‘Oh my God, my room is so nice,’
“She has enough of her own private space that this is more like condo living than having a roommate.”

Walden Kidd, a sophomore, gave a mostly positive review.
“The rooms may be just a little bit too small but everything else looks nice otherwise,” Mr. Kidd said. “The dining hall is nearby and there’s a nice separating feature to be away from the freshman dorms a bit.”

A large mural portraying DSU’s past prominent leaders and 1962 era bricks from the previous structure were part of a first floor historical display.

“There’s a feeling of moving ahead while preserving some of the history at the same time,” junior Tiffany Langhorne said. “This new hall has laid the foundation for a new future that we’ll all be a part of beginning today.”

An official opening ceremony is scheduled for later this school year.

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