By Jenn Wood, ’19
Welcome back to another year at Emerson! September is one of the busiest months on our campus. Students are busy getting settled into their new class schedules, joining new student organizations, and navigating the wonderful city of Boston. The start of every new year is marked by the hundreds of students walking up and down Boylston Street, the smell of coffee, and the sight of the Boston Common trees changing colors!
Unlike all of the years before, Emerson is entering a year with so many new changes and nearly completed projects. The most exciting change of all is the expected opening of the Little Building in fall of 2019. Unlike the old Little Building, the new ‘LB’ will host 1,036 beds, hold 13 floors (11 of which are residential floors), have 30 Resident Assistants, and is completely corridor style with doubles, triples, limited singles, common bathrooms, and gender-free bathrooms! The new building also brings back not one but two Cabarets to our main campus with practice spaces and student performance spaces in the lower level.
As we continue construction on the Little Building, I got the chance to sit down and talk with Erik Müürisepp, the Associate Dean for Campus Life, about all of the exciting updates regarding the project: “The construction and reopening of the Little Building brings back an exciting social hub to our campus.” The new building is expected to be a social hub quite like the old Little Building and the addition of 15 common lounges and shared spaces, including kitchens, lounges, and quiet spaces, will allow Emerson to reclaim our corner. Müürisepp also pointed out that the Little Building is completely reconstructed from the inside out: “We stripped the building down to its steel beams and replaced the aging façade with a brand new one, truly making the building new and improved.”
With the reopening of Little Building right around the corner, it is important to recognize that the Little Building will increase Emerson’s on-campus capacity to 2,600 beds. While the new LB will predominantly be home to first year students with traditional style floor plans, the future of Emerson housing includes a three year residency requirement for new first-time, first-year students who entered Emerson after fall 2017. And for all questions and concerns about the residency, we are hosting a workshop during Family Weekend on Saturday, October 20th! You can join Vice President and Dean of Campus Life, Jim Hoppe, Associate Dean, Erik Müürisepp, and Assistant Dean, Elizabeth Ching-Bush, as they share information on the new residency requirement, the housing lottery, and how the addition of new spaces across campus will impact the campus and affect your student.
And for the students, the most exciting part of the reopening of LB will be the removal of the scaffolding which has become a staple on our campus. While the construction continues for the rest of this academic year, we will be sure to keep you all updated and excited for the reopening of our most iconic residence hall!