By Kristen Maikoo
Several students enjoy living in Salem College’s new McHugh Sisters Flats, the first dorm constructed on the campus in 50 years since Gramley Residence Hall opened in 1965.
Jasmine Jamison, C’17, is excited to be one of the first residents. “I encourage other students to move in next year ‘cause it’s really nice not showering with shower shoes.”
Living in the new building also offers seniors a different perspective. “I think it’s a good transition for seniors to get ready to move out into the real world because apartment living is coming and it’s coming soon,” says Cassidy Miller C’16.
Juyoung Shin C’16, says that “[Shin and her suitemates] chose to go for the apartments because it was new…we took a risk for the fact that it was gonna be new and more than likely it’s going to be the only new place that I’m ever gonna live in.”
Shin also appreciates the opportunity to live with and bond with her class. “It’s one of those few times that you really get to live with all of your class and bond as a class,” says Shin comparing it to when primarily first years lived in Gramley prior to the 2014-15 school year.
Jamison appreciates several aspects about the new building. “I was anxious about what they looked like,” she adds. “…I heard about the other flats and they were really homey and I was like ‘I wonder what these are gonna look like’.”
Self-guided tours were held last spring while the building was still under construction. As they toured, Shin and other students began to understand the layout, though they could not completely visualize the rooms. Miller says,“It was still sticks and just bare lumber.”
Construction of the building began in December 2014 and was scheduled to finish by October 2015, but Frank L. Blum Construction worked extra hours to expedite the process so that it could open for the new semester. With four floors and twenty-three suites, it currently houses 79 students, according to Residential Coordinator Michelle Ward.
“I was really impressed with how fast they got it up…but I was also nervous because if they got ‘em up so fast we don’t know what glitches they might have,” says Jamison.
Each apartment includes a microwave, linen closet, furnishings, and two bathrooms. According to Shin, most students spend their time in their rooms instead of in the Great Room, a common area on the first floor.
Miller says, “I’m really impressed with the kitchen. I think that’s my favorite part.”
Shin also makes use of the kitchen in her apartment because she frequently uses the area to complete homework. While riding her bike to class, she sees other McHugh Sisters residents walking to class. The Fogle Flats are adjacent to the new building, but she likes that the location of McHugh Sisters is further expanding the Salem community and making it closer to downtown.
As the Flats are also closer in proximity to downtown Winston-Salem, Jamison said that “it took us about fifteen minutes” to walk downtown. Some of the residents visit downtown more often because of the location.
The McHugh Sisters Flats are one of the four priorities of the Women of Purpose Campaign, which aims to strengthen and support Salem Academy and College and and increase awareness and accessibility of the institution for women and girls.