ResLife Master Plan will replace the Dobbs group

Jones is set to be demolished December 2015, and Laws and Lathrop will follow.

Jones, Lathrop and Laws residence halls will be torn down and replaced by five new ones in the coming years.

These renovations are part of the Dobbs Replacement Project, meant to provide more residential rooms for future freshmen classes. This project is the final step of the Residential Life Master Plan, approved May 2001.

The Board of Curators approved the first phase of the project June 13.

Beginning in January 2015, two new residence halls will be built in an area by the basketball courts west of Jones Hall, Director of Residential Life Frankie Minor said. Then, in December of the same year, Jones will be demolished.

The Pavilion at Dobbs dining hall will remain operational during construction while a new dining facility is built.

Phase Two calls for replacing Laws and Lathrop, and building an additional hall in the old location of Dobbs. This phase has not been approved yet.

If both phases are approved, five new residential halls and one new dining facility will stand in the place of Laws, Lathrop and Jones halls and Dobbs dinning hall.

After Phase Two, current renovations and constructions on campus should be complete. Minor said the hope is to reduce the number of apartments MU leases from Campus View for use as Tiger Diggs.

"(Campus View) doesn't offer the same convenience or experience as on-campus living," Minor said.

The decision to replace Jones rather than renovate it was made last year, Minor said.

In 2005, the Residential Life Master Plan was amended to include plans to renovate Jones. But with the recent enrollment growth, Minor said it made more sense to bring Jones down.

When a hall is renovated, the number of beds decreases since study rooms are added, Minor said. With the increasing enrollment at MU, Residential Life could not afford to lose beds.

A former Jones resident, sophomore Connor Voss voiced concern about housing capacity, wondering how ResLife can handle losing a whole hall.

However, when Jones goes down, Wolpers and the new Virginia Avenue South Housing will be available for the displaced residents, Minor said.

Also, early and unofficial numbers for the Class of 2017 indicate it will be a smaller class.

"This will be the first time in the past four or five that the freshmen class will not be told they are the largest class ever," Minor said.

Jones currently has 330 beds, according to the ResLife website. When the construction of the new hall is done, there will be about 500 beds, Minor said.

Jones also has a unique community atmosphere due to its proximity to Greek Town and because it is an all-female dorm.

"It's an active community because many of the residents are members of sororities," said Adam Callahan, the Jones hall coordinator who has worked at the hall for two years. "We have a group of women unafraid to dive in."

The building is one of three identical, nine-story structures. It is too early to tell what the design of the news buildings will be, Minor said.

"I will be the first to admit Jones wasn't very pretty," Voss said. "Everybody knew it wasn't great but we bonded over that fact."

Voss thinks that when Jones is gone, if even for a little bit, it will change the dynamic on the south side of campus.

"It's in the heart of Mizzou," Voss said.

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