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Before she moved into Finley Hall on the Oregon State University campus, incoming freshman Maddie Thompson did as much research as she could about the building to reduce her stress about moving into a residence hall.

So how did she feel Sunday when she finally arrived at the newly renovated building?

“I like it,” she said. “I’m not stressed at all.”

Thompson, from Redding, California, said she is excited to start this new phase of her life living away from home. She said she has no nerves about it at all now.

“I’m ready. I’ve been counting down the days. It is time,” said Thompson, who plans to study forest engineering.

Thompson was one of the estimated 3,500 students OSU officials expected to move into its residence halls on Sunday.

Patrick Robinson, assistant director of University Housing & Dining Services, said the biggest change to on campus housing for this year was the second phase of remodeling at Finley Hall.

In 2018, he said, the university remodeled common areas, rebuilt bathrooms on one side of the building to be more modern and private, and, on two floors, renovated rooms and removed built-in room furnishings that had been in the building for decades. Over this summer, he said, the remaining bedrooms were renovated to use newer, modular furniture and the remaining bathrooms were updated.

Robinson said each floor now has three private bathrooms and multiuser bathrooms built to maximize privacy. On some floors there are separate multiuser bathrooms for men and women; on others, the multiuser bathrooms are gender-neutral. Robinson said the goal was for students to not have to go more than a floor up or down to find a multiuser bathroom of their choice, and they always have the option of using the single-user bathrooms, which also include a shower, on their floor.

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The building is also getting a new roof, he said.

The university spent around $4.5 million on this summer’s renovations, he said.

Robinson said University Housing & Dining Services aims to do large annual maintenance projects like this on a rotating basis so that even older buildings like Finley, which was built in 1966, are appealing to students.

“We view this as a recruiting tool, so we feel it is incumbent on us to refresh the buildings,” he said.

He added that next summer, University Housing & Dining Services plans to put new roofs on Buxton, Hawley and West halls and a new fire suppression system in Cauthorn Hall.

Dane Tiffany, a freshman who plans to study zoology, also moved into Finley Sunday. He said he’s excited to live in a newly renovated dorm.

“I love it,” he said. “It looks super awesome.”

He added that as busy as the crowded move-in day was, he’s looking forward to starting the next phase of his life.

“I’m obviously nervous about it, but it’s mostly exciting,” he said.

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Anthony Rimel covers education and crime in Benton County and weekend events across the Mid-Valley. He can be reached at anthony.rimel@lee.net or 541-812-6091.

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