By Seth Slabaugh
MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) – Ball State University formally re-opened Studebaker East residence hall, which includes the university’s first revolving door, housing for 430 international and American students, three two-story lounges, water bottle filling stations, three student kitchens, a computer lab, a fitness room and certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The residence hall had been closed for a $24.1 million reconstruction project that demolished everything but the concrete shell, which left it looking like a parking garage for a while.
“I like the kitchen,” said Chen Liang, a BSU junior majoring in business administration. “I’m from China. I don’t like American food. I cook Chinese food and improve my cooking skills.”
The hall is home to international students and American students studying foreign languages or interested in international topics.
“There are a lot of foreign students,” said Claiborne Houghser, a freshman from Rushville who has enjoyed Korean food prepared in one of the kitchens by an international student.
Houghser moved to Studebaker from the Johnson Complex, which, like Studebaker, was built in the 1960s. Hougsher told The Star Press Johnson is “kind of outdated” and said Studebaker feels “more grown up.” BSU’s next residence hall renovation is Johnson’s Botsford/Swinford halls, scheduled for completion in 2015.
Houghser likes Studebaker’s glass-walled study areas that look down into the glass-walled two-story lounges. “It’s good for finals to have a study zone,” she said. “I spent a lot of time there during finals. At night, you can see the bell tower lit up and almost every building on campus. It’s cool to look out.”
She also likes the water bottle filling stations on each floor. “It’s a lot cheaper than buying bottled water,” she said. The filling stations help eliminate waste from disposable plastic bottles. “This is an eco-friendly building,” Houghser said.
The filling stations include a visual display that counts the number of 16-ounce bottles saved from the landfill after every fill-up.
“Up to 90 universities have actually banned the sale of bottled water on campus, and many more have been looking to provide alternatives,” said Franco Savoni, a spokesman for Elkay Manufacturing Co., producer of BSU’s EZH2O filling stations. “That’s what our unit does.”1 2 next >>