The Shoreland, with the mystique of its former grandeur and its breathtaking views of Lake Michigan, provides a unique living experience where lower- and upperclassmen live together in an environment that allows both privacy and social interaction.
But the Shoreland has been in dire need of repairs, inside and out, for quite some time. The University for one reason or another postponed upkeep and is now facing a $50 million renovation cost. So instead of renovating, the housing office will likely build a new dorm south of the Midway to house close to 900 students.
The current housing system offers undergraduates numerous options, as they can choose among several unique buildings throughout Hyde Park, each with its own quirks. These small- and medium-sized dorms reinforce the house system on which the College prides itself and foster a sense of community among residents.
We fear that the University is moving towards building yet another massive dorm with small, identical rooms like those of Max Palevsky Commons, whose design has failed to encourage the same sense of house solidarity that once blossomed in the cinderblock confines of Woodward Court.
The new dorm should retain some of the characteristics of the Shoreland, such as a mix of students of all years and a variety of roomsdoubles, singles, and apartment-style dormsto give students enough options in their housing decisions.
Above all, student involvement is crucial. The poll of Broadview and Shoreland residents is a good start, but the entire process should remain transparent to students.