The lower suites are some of the dorms scheduled to be torn down at the end of the school year. (Image credit: Emma Sheehan)

As the SNHU campus continues to evolve and grow, new Residence Halls go up. This also means that older halls come down.

Last year the upper suites Winnisquam and Chocorua, along with the Kearsarge apartments, were torn down in order to construct the new and anticipated Kingston Hall. This year the lower suites, Whittier Hall and two townhouses, Sunapee and Cranmore are all being torn down. This is part of the evolution of the SNHU campus being thrust into a new era.

When the campus was built in the 1970’s the dorms were brand-new and revolutionary. Now, buildings such as the Lower Suites, the Townhouses and Whittier are in an old and decrepit state to the point where they are considered the worst places to live on campus.

Some may believe that the decision to take down the lower suites was recent. However, according to Director of Housing Shannon Brown, the plan has been set in motion for some time. “There was conversation among leadership like President LeBlanc to tear down all the older halls with brown siding. It wasn’t until after I got here that a plan was put in place to take out the upper suites and what would be put in their place.”

As with the recent demolition of Greeley hall, one would possibly believe that the fire in the former apartment building had influence on the decision to demolish it’s neighboring Whittier. However, Brown stated this was incorrect as both apartment buildings would have been torn down regardless.

One would expect that with the older dorms there may be an emotional reaction to the demolition, as this is the space where many people may have made some of their old friends and have some of their fondest memories. According to Brown, “I think that a lot of memories, especially foundational memories are found in residence halls, their friendships and their hardships. The memories will still exist, just not in physical connotations.”

Some students may have mixed feelings about the demolition of these older buildings. Some students, such as Diversity Agent Benny Alves (’20) had said “Winnipesaukee was good as it provided me a living space where I didn’t get snowed or rained on when I didn’t want to be. It also served as a meditative place where I needed to be alone. Occasionally it was a good place to work, but now having been around campus I do prefer most of the other dorms.”

While some students, such as Alves have more mixed views on the Lower suites, other students views sway to be more starkly negative or positive.

Winnipesaukee resident John Lien (’20) had said “It takes fifteen minutes for the showers to warm up and there’s a huge ant infestation. I’ve never seen any other person in my suite.”

On the positive end of the spectrum is Merrimack Resident Assistant McKayla Hutchins (’19) who had said “the Lower Suites is like the underdog that holds the most meaning to me this year at SNHU. It’s become my home away from home where I’ve been able to develop the best community and grow as a student leader.”

With all of these older buildings being taken down new construction fills the space left behind.  In the space of Sunapee and Cranmore will be the new CETA building opening in fall 2019. The space where Greeley  and Whitter once stood is set to become a green space. Brown had even confirmed that grass seeds had been planted on Greeley’s former loation. The space of the lower suits has been chosen to be used as an expansion for the parking lot that is already next to the buildings that stand there today.

Clearly, while some people may miss these old buildings, the SNHU campus will be moving into the future.

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