Academic Residential Community (ARC) Hall, one of Longwood’s eight residence halls, has been closed temporarily for at least the duration of the 2019-2020 academic year.
ARC was originally built and opened for student use in 1992. Matt McWilliams, assistant vice president and communications associate editor for Longwood Magazine, stated that ARC was due for an upgrade.
He said, “Functionally, it is the oldest residence hall on campus. All the other residence halls have either been built after 1992 or have been renovated since then.”
McWilliams said that the decision to close down ARC was brought on by a few reasons, the biggest being the enrollment rate dropping for this academic year. The new freshmen class consists of less than 900 students, and with Frazer being utilized again as well as Sharp and Register being open, the need for ARC declined.
He added that since the building is the oldest on campus that has not yet been renovated, it was first on their list to close down and receive an upgrade.
ARC was officially closed this summer after housing students and alumni for Longwood’s annual Alumni Weekend. Maintenance began on the building immediately, with the staff working to strategically fix issues due to the building’s old age.
Louise Waller, vice president for administration and finance, added that although ARC is being redone, it will not be receiving as much work as other residence halls, like Frazer have.
Waller said, “We are doing some maintenance work, really. Some work is harder to do when the building is occupied and that building has been heavily used year-round, so having it offline to do some work will be good.”
She added that they will be doing a deep cleaning, as well as painting and some electrical work. When asked if the building will visually look different when it is back up and running, she said no.
Waller said, “When anyone that goes into ARC after being there before, I don’t think that they’re going to see anything exceptionally ‘wow’ or ‘fabulous’, just some fixes.”
As of this time, there is not a set date for when ARC is going to reopen for student use. Both Waller and McWilliams said that they are going to be taking it one step at a time, seeing what they can fix during this academic year. They will also be assessing the needs of the student population, and will include that in the decision on when to reopen the building.