Future of dorms in question



    When BYU alumna Diane Lifferth revisits her alma mater, she always scans the skyline for her old dorm room at Deseret Towers.

    ?You always look for the blue shutters above the windows,? she said, recalling memories of her freshman year in 1972.

    Built in the early 1960s, Deseret Towers is one of the oldest housing developments on campus. Because of the towers? age and maintenance, BYU administration is discussing whether or not to tear down the resident buildings.

    ?BYU is constantly monitoring its buildings to determine if it is more prudent to maintain them or replace them,? said Carri Jenkins, BYU spokeswoman.

    While a final decision has not been reached, a proposal to tear down the on-campus development is in final stages of discussion.

    ?It is not certain yet, but we are looking at our housing plans for the future,? Jenkins said.

    If the dorms are demolished, BYU would replace the buildings, offering the same housing capacity that the dorms currently offer.

    Electrical systems and sewer systems in both buildings often need maintenance work, said Paul Barton, general manager of Single Student Residence Life.

    Barton said that Residence Life tries to upgrade and meet the needs of the students, but there are no final plans.

    ?Deseret Towers was built at a time when students brought wind-up alarm clocks,? Jenkins said. ?Now students come with many more needs.?

    Despite needed improvements, many of today?s freshmen still see the Deseret Towers as the ?last true dorm.?

    ?This is the party dorm,? said Tyla D?abla, a freshman from Buffalo, N.Y., who has made many friends during her experience. ?Our relationship is stronger because we?re here.?

    If the discussion phase moves to actual demolition, students will enjoy modern resident facilities, but may miss out on a BYU housing tradition.

    ?I heard several years ago, they were talking of tearing [Deseret Towers] down and building new dorms or more dorms, and I thought, that?s too bad,? Lifferth said. ?It?s a place of memories. It?s part of my life at BYU, at least for one year.?

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