For several years, Miller Residence Hall was the quietest place on campus. There were no students, floor events or last-minute studying; just pure peace and quiet. But halfway through its first semester back in action, Miller Hall is bustling once again.
Due to a decline in enrollment, Goshen College closed the doors to the Miller Hall in 2014. It had remained in the same state of silence until this fall when the incoming class was too large to fit in the two open dorms, Kratz and Yoder Residence Halls.
When word started to flow about the reopening of Miller Hall in the fall of 2018, some students were skeptical about being assigned to a place that had been closed for so long.
“I really do love it, but when they assigned me to the building, I was a little upset,” Rianna Koteles, a sophomore and Resident Assistant of Miller 3, said. “When I knew I was going to be the RA, I was scared of what I would find, because what was the point of stepping in the building and cleaning it if it was closed.”
Preparations were made to the Miller Hall rooms before move-in day came around. Miller Hall hadn’t been completely closed down, however. The space was being cleaned and maintained regularly throughout the years for temporary guests and students who needed a place to stay.
Kali Miller, the residence life coordinator at Goshen College, said that the transition this fall was easily manageable.
“Aside from making sure each room had enough beds and were clean, there wasn't much preparation that needed to be done in regards to the physical space,” she said.
The only work that was actually done to Miller Hall before it’s reopening was the updating of its WiFi and new mattresses put in every dorm.
Whether the dorms were found in perfect condition or not, students seem to like their new living situation. The community and the ability to move furniture around seem to be hot topics among the students as well.
“It feels like I’m building up a new community and atmosphere for Miller [Hall],” Koteles said. “I lived in Yoder 3 North last year. Being able to move my furniture is great, but I do miss having a window seat.”
Kylie Whipple, a first-year and resident of Miller 2 says she loves her dorm. “It’s very clean, and the girls do a great job at making everything smell good. Another really good thing about living in Miller [Hall] is that we get to move our bunks around.”
Miller explained what reopening the new dorm means for the college.
“It's also great, from an institution perspective, to have floors open rather than closed, and with that more students,” Miller continued. “Opening Miller [Hall] back up has been encouraging and exciting as there are more students around.”
“Those who know me know I'm passionate about authentic community and Miller [Hall] feels like a new shiny car — time to take it out for a test drive and pick up some friends.”
Chad Coleman, director of Student Life operations, commented, “It felt great to open Miller [Hall] again because it marked a sign of growth for the campus. With growth comes prosperity — more opportunity for community engagement on campus.”