THE SANTA CLARA
February 5, 2015
After over 60 years of existing as separate buildings, Walsh and McLaughlin Residence Halls have been renovated and linked together after eight months of construction.
During the renovations, guest restrooms, laundry facilities on the upper floors and student lounges with adjacent kitchens on each floor were also built, according to Mako Ushihara, director for Housing Building Operations.
A large community commons and programming space, a new lobby, a service desk and adequate office and meeting spaces for Residential Learning Community staff were also added, Ushihara said. Construction began last June, and funding came from operational reserves.
Ushihara said construction was necessary because the two buildings were in need of updates. McLaughlin was built in 1957 and Walsh was built in 1950. This was before Santa Clara adopted the RLC model, which called for the two buildings to function as one community, Ushihara said.
“Students have an easier time studying together, are populating the lounges and our beautiful commons and there is always a buzz in the middle section,” said Sarita Tamayo-Moraga, the faculty director of the Unity RLC.
Residents of Walsh and McLaughlin said that although they are pleased with the results of the construction, the noise was bothersome.
“The worst time was the Saturday morning construction,” said freshman Marli Dunn. “I happened to have early classes, so the weekdays weren’t that bad, but I can see how it would have been an issue if you were planning on sleeping in until noon. The combining of the buildings definitely made it more social, though.”
Contact Krista Clawson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.