WATERVILLE — Some rave in regards to the top-to-bottom home windows overlooking downtown. Others level to the large, fashionable loos in every room.
Ben Iannuzzi notices the cup of mints greeting him within the foyer of his residence.
“They’re a small factor, however it makes it really feel like a resort,” stated Iannuzzi, a 19-year-old sophomore from Wilton, Connecticut.
For this yr and this yr solely, some 100 Colby Faculty college students get to name the brand new, $26 million Lockwood Hotel residence.
Because the soon-to-be-finished resort at 9 Essential St. has developed over the 2020-21 educational yr, Colby college students have been witness to the method.
“It’s fairly candy as a result of it’s model new — very nice services,” Isabelle Seeman, a junior from Weston, Massachusetts, stated outdoors the resort earlier this week.
The Lockwood Resort shouldn’t be open but to the general public, however its “visitor record” is already lengthy. The four-story constructing has 53 rooms, all occupied by Colby college students.
Whereas college students obtained an early take a look at the resort, the general public can get its first true take a look at the Lockwood later this month. The Entrance & Essential Restaurant is slated to open Thursday.
Though the resort is owned by Colby, it is going to be managed by Charlestowne Hotels. After the spring semester ends in Could, scholar furnishings and momentary carpeting will likely be faraway from the constructing. The rooms will then be reworked for future friends.
The resort is predicted to open within the 2021-22 educational yr, school officers stated this week.
Oscar Garcia is in his second yr as a neighborhood adviser (suppose resident assistant), together with Lensky Augustin and Stewart Eagan. After Garcia spent his first yr at an on-campus dormitory, the resort is an enormous change.
“Aesthetically, it’s barely extra pleasing to the attention,” stated Garcia, 20, of Houston. “It’s undoubtedly larger.”
Augustin stated he served as a neighborhood adviser final spring, however that have was reduce brief as a result of pandemic. The 21-year-old from Salisbury, Maryland, described his expertise on the Lockwood as “a mixture of luxurious and drawbacks.”
Colby college students dwelling on the Lockwood provided related ideas on their entry to meals. Not like the rooms on the Invoice & Joan Alfond Essential Road Commons up the highway, the resort rooms do not need kitchens.
Breakfast is delivered to the Lockwood day by day, however college students should get lunch and dinner at eating rooms on campus. Colby provides shuttle buses whose routes embody stops on the resort, giving college students quick access to campus.
The resort’s again entrance is about up for pickups and drop-offs, together with a coated outside space. College students with vehicles on campus are capable of park a brief stroll from the resort.
“Whereas the Lockwood was by no means meant to be a residence corridor, the Faculty has labored onerous to fulfill the wants of scholars dwelling there and reply to their suggestions,” Colby officers wrote in a ready assertion. “Colby has additionally supplied extra furnishing for particular areas within the resort for finding out and lounging. Moreover we now have rerouted the downtown shuttle in order that college students dwelling on the resort have steady entry to campus, and might absolutely take part and have interaction in all educational and extracurricular actions.”
Iannuzzi shares his room on the Lockwood with Phil Kaplan. That they had hoped to spend the yr at an on-campus suite, however have been placed on a ready record. Iannuzzi and Kaplan considered dwelling off campus, however Colby required all college students to reside on campus this yr.
Seeman stated she hoped to check in Spain for a semester this yr, however the coronavirus pandemic canceled most research overseas applications.
“We noticed there have been loads of the final rooms usually picked on campus, however we noticed there have been loads of rooms within the resort,” Iannuzzi stated. “We noticed how a lot nicer the rooms have been.”
Eagan, one of many neighborhood advisers, stated it will be important in her place to “set an instance” for pandemic security within the Lockwood. The commute to campus for meals and to make use of the library might be irritating, she stated, however having the additional house within the Lockwood is a plus.
Like Seeman, Eagan of Pendleton, Kentucky, was anticipating to check overseas final fall. College students who have been scheduled to check abroad within the fall weren’t capable of enter the housing lottery final spring as a result of there was nonetheless the chance they might not be right here. Many Lockwood residents are in related conditions.
“Many individuals opted for Lockwood rooms as a result of they have been going to be larger in dimension than on-campus lodging,” Eagan stated. “For me, I’ll keep in mind it because it provided challenges as a (neighborhood adviser) of making an attempt to determine the best way to create neighborhood, and push me to be extra artistic in planning.”
Eagan stated dwelling on the Lockwood can really feel isolating, particularly given the restricted social scene as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s not an ideal house as a result of the very nature of it doesn’t encourage neighborhood in a dorm that’s already offering a bodily block from campus,” she stated. “Relying on the residents, some folks have handled the isolation higher, however some folks have made the choice to maneuver to campus as a result of it does negatively have an effect on their psychological well being.”
Because of the pandemic, most neighborhood occasions have gone digital. Having all college students at campus housing for the educational yr has helped facilitate the college’s COVID-19 testing plan and contract tracing measures, helpful for the school and higher Waterville.
When college students arrived within the fall, the within of the resort was principally full, however the outdoors was nonetheless beneath development. Iannuzzi stated he remembers when crews have been drilling outdoors his fourth-floor window for every week within the early morning.
“It was undoubtedly a little bit of an eyesore initially, however you can see it over the primary semester getting constructed,” Iannuzzi stated. “Now, I might say, it’s a stupendous constructing to reside in.”
The Lockwood is predicted to be buzzing on commencement weekends for many years to return. Within the not-too-distant future, anybody will likely be welcome to remain on the Lockwood.
However for now, Colby college students are experiencing resort dwelling and seeing firsthand a venture virtually accomplished.
“After we got here right here in August, it was just about a development website,” Augustin stated. “Truthfully, it appears to be like superb now.”