The townhouses, located on 8th Street, follow the same blueprint as the Brinsfield Row townhouses on the other side of campus. The students said they wanted to move into Livingston East as soon as they heard about it.
“Last semester, I was talking to the girl who was supposed to be the RD (resident director) over there Shannon Ferguson. She told me they were scheduled to be done in the fall and they were actually looking for residents to move over there. ... We decided to make the switch,” Dawson said.
Dawson and Kuchta had originally applied to live in Livingston Hall (apartment-style dorms) even though they really wanted to live in Brinsfield.
This choice was made because one of their roommates needed to be closer to the School of Religion.
“Living in Brinsfield would be ridiculous for her.” Dawson said, “But as soon as we found out there were going to be townhouses that close to the Religion building, we were all like ‘Yes, let’s go for that.’ So we talked to Shannon Balram and she put us on the list.”
Andrea said Balram told them they had a good chance of being in Livingston East because they were one of the first ones to talk to her about it.
That was in April. Then during the summer session, Kuchta talked to the resident director over Livingston East, and was guaranteed she and her roommates would be in Livingston East.
“I was actually supposed to move in (on Thursday) two days early, and I’m a nomad for the next two days ... because I couldn’t get into the apartment early,” Dawson said.
Dawson said her resident director Leia Duncan was really helpful in suggesting places to stay.
Interior construction was completed in time for students to move in Saturday. However, the exterior still needed work, including landscaping.
The friends have been keeping tabs on the construction throughout the summer, whoever one was on campus would send a picture of the progress to the other.
“We’ve been watching it all summer kind of sprout up,” Dawson said.
The students see many advantages to living in the townhouses.
Dawson is looking forward to “not having to carry my groceries up three flights of stairs anymore.”
Living in the townhouses also helps prepare students for life after college.
Kuchta said, it “helps you learn how to live on your own, while you still have an RD to go to.”
One drawback to the townhouses is less community atmosphere than many of the other dorms.
Kuchta said there isn’t a community mind set in the townhouses but the Livingston East residents will be invited to Livingston and Keeble Halls dorm events.
“You have the chance to be off on your own as much as you want, but you have the opportunity to join community,” Kuchta said.
Dawson said by putting freshman in dorms that create a strong community atmosphere students are more likely to create community while in the apartments and townhouses.
Each townhouse features a kitchen and living room on the main level with a half bath under the stairs. Upstairs are two bedrooms and a full bathroom. The townhouses are also the only dorms on campus to have washers and dryers.
Major construction on Livingston East began in late April with the demolition of a small brick building used by Lee’s soccer teams.