Named after two members of the first faculty at the university, Falls and Sayers Residence Halls opened this August to connect the growing population of incoming freshman and introduce new features to on-campus living.
Elizabeth Falls and Jessie Sayers were both early faculty members at the university who had previous residence halls named after them. The original Falls Hall was demolished to construct the new Performing Arts Center in 2012, and the original Sayers Hall was also torn down, said Rosanne Proite, director of Housing and Residential Life.
Sayers wrote the lyrics to the Texas State Alma Mater, according to the Department of Housing and Residential Life and the Dedication Ceremony booklet.
“We realized that name had never been reutilized, so we decided we needed to name this hall after Jessie,” Proite said.
Although the complex is designed to serve approximately 580 students and is 187,691 square feet, “the idea is to keep the numbers small,” Proite said.
“We hear over and over again that (Texas State) doesn’t feel like a ‘big’ university,” Proite said. “Part of the reason why it doesn’t feel that way is because in your freshman year, you are already connected, and it’s through smaller resident halls.”
Proite said a priority in the new halls is to provide opportunities for students to connect.
Instead of Falls and Sayers being one big hall, they are separated into two buildings with their very own resident assistant staff and hall directors, Proite said.
The dorms also feature amenities new to the Texas State campus.
Falls and Sayers are the only residence halls to have their own sand volleyball court, and the first on campus to have Wi-Fi connected in the rooms, said Paul Jacob, resident assistant at Sayers Hall, who previously worked in Butler hall.
“The halls are very modern, cutting-edge, very clean and homey,” Jacob said. “Being an RA in Sayers is quite a change, definitely a step up from Butler, since it’s older on campus.”
Freshmen in the new halls appreciate the resort-like appearance and amenities.
“A lot of people say they are like a hotel because they are so nice on the inside, and they are fun,” said Morgan Mapes, freshman resident in Sayers Hall. “They have the sand volleyball in the back. I’m always out there.”
Housing and Residential Life has also created areas throughout the Community Building for art to be displayed. The department is now working with the School of Art and Design. Faculty will be rotating their students’ artwork each semester, Proite said.
Students can expect to see new dorms spring up on campus in the near future.
The university will break ground in the next three weeks to begin construction on the new residence hall, Proite said.
“We’ve been working for the last year on the design, and it will open in the fall of 2016,” Proite said. “We are already beginning to work on the design for the buildings that will come after that. We have four more buildings after the next two.”
Construction on those dorms will most likely begin in 2020, Proite said. The plan is to open two new halls approximately every two years.