Emily Ambery | Layout Editor
The Hogan Dining Hall’s entrance renovations were revealed on Tuesday, and the extended space offers more seating for students and Towers residents.
Students now enter Towers through the A-Walk entrance and climb up the large white staircase to a new colorful and brightly lit space equipped with booths, chairs and tables just before the swipe in desk to Hogan.
“We received feedback from students saying that they wanted more social and study spaces in the residence halls, and we’re excited that we could work with the university to make this happen,” said Anne Lahoda, assistant vice president of residence life and housing.
The project, which began in May, features a similarly modern look to the renovated second floor of the Union and showcases Duquesne pride with the arch painted colorfully on the walls.
“General enhancements of the entrance lobby included a new entrance storefront with ADA-compliant door operators, new finishes and opening up the second floor (the old mailing services area) to create a lounge with soft furniture and two new large windows for natural light facing North,” said Mark Minoski, senior director of design and construction.
Updates also included replacing the staircase, which was too steep and not up to code, according to Minoski.
Students walked into the new space with positive comments noting the red-, blue-, green- and yellow-colored lights.
Working on his biomedical engineering homework, freshman Gavin Terry said he will be using the space as much as possible. For Terry, the space is conveniently located between his dorm in Towers and the cafeteria which has all the food and drinks that he wants.
Available to students 24 hours and fit with cushioned booths along the walls and tables facing the windows overlooking Academic Walk, the space invites students to change their routine.
Sophomore Kendall Nigh said she will be using the space as a 20-minute pit stop between lunch and class.
The new look also offers more security measures for Towers.
“While the west side security desk where students show their ID to get in was relocated/renovated more than five years ago, this current project relocated the east security desk to align with the west, which improves the sightlines for improved security for the building,” Minoski said.
Freshman Keira Burton ate her sandwich at one of the new tables facing A-Walk while working on some assignments for class. As she settled in for her midday fuel, she noted the comfort and welcoming vibe of the new area.
“If there are more study and communal spaces to hang out coming, it would be cool for them to look like this,” Burton said.
In between greeting and checking students into Hogan, Parkhurst employees Randale Dixon and Keisha Gist said they both like the new area.
“It brings a good energy to the space and it’s a great place to study,” Gist said.
The facelift replaced the old mailing system, which previously held student mailboxes and closed in 2020 after the covid shutdown.
Lori Lewis, supervisor of mailing, said that was a transition time where students began picking up their mail and packages at the Des Plantes Mail Center.
“The Towers Mail Center was moved to the Des Places residence hall in 2018 because it had outgrown the space and could no longer support the packages coming in on a daily basis,” Lewis said.
Although there is still evidence of construction of the project that will be completed in mid-September, students no longer need to use the alternative, side entrance to Hogan now that construction is done.
Sophomore and Tower’s Resident Assistant Hailey Suller said the construction impacted move-in this year with worries it would not be completed in time and limit elevator usage.
At one point during the move, accessible Towers elevators went from six to three.
Despite the impact, Suller said the new space is worth it and offers a communal space for residents beyond their floor.
“I like having a lounge space that is open to study, eat and hang out,” Suller said. “And the lights are super cute.”