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Pearsons Phenomenal Progression

-View the new and improved Pearsons Hall!

Pearsons Hall is now open to residents.

Pearsons Hall is the envy of most halls on Berea College’s campus for the first time in recent history. The freshmen female dorm is the most recently remodeled building on campus and is part of a long term plan to remodel several other buildings here at Berea College.

Pearsons Hall opened for male students in 1910, after Dr. Daniel Kimball Pearsons of Chicago donated $25,000 for the building. His gift came with the stipulation that student workers build the structure. Even the bricks were Berea-made. The total cost of the building in 1909 was an estimated $40,000. According to the Campus Master Plan, as of 2004, the estimate for the cost of renovations for Pearsons Hall reached $4,043,000, a huge leap from the original price of the building.

As the most recently remodeled residence hall, Pearsons sports a lot of new features that make living in it a comfortable experience for the one hundred and fifteen students who reside in the nearly 60 rooms available. Pearson’s is now handicap-accessible, providing a handicap accessible room on each floor and an elevator.

Pearsons is not only more functional with plenty of space, a new sprinkler system, and air conditioning, it is also more stylish. There is a glass enclosed staircase at the side, a skylight on the fourth floor, and a matching color theme throughout the building with color coordinated furniture and carpet in green, orange, and other inviting colors.

The new furniture is also a plus with new and adjustable bunk beds, mattresses, desk, desk lights, and dressers to replace the old. Victoria Jones, a former resident, reminiscing said, “The beds didn't bunk and there wasn't as much shelving space, so it was pretty small, but it helped me learn to be resourceful.”

The common areas are now also new and improved. There is a small kitchenette, study room, custodial closet, laundry room, and ice machine on each floor, and in the basement there is a big screen television with cable and a VCR.

Berea is committed being more sustainable, and the renovation of Pearsons is no exception. The floor in the common area is made of bamboo rather than wood because it grows faster than trees. All of the new appliances are energy efficient, with automatic lights and sinks to save energy and toilets that use more air and less water to flush. Also to save in cost and to be more efficient, the original porch was kept intact and refinished.

Currently, another freshman female hall is under renovation. Elizabeth Rogers Hall is scheduled to be reopened in the fall semester of 2008.

Interesting History
Dr. Pearsons, a benefactor of small Christian colleges, is part of Berea’s legacy of friends and supporters. Introduced to Berea by President Frost, Pearsons made several generous gifts to Berea and is credited with helping to build the college’s endowment, a vital part of modern Berea’s finances.

Work on Pearsons Hall began in June 1909 and was completed the following year. Although Dr. Pearsons' gift was expected to cover the building's total cost, construction ran over budget. The final cost of the four-story, 26,000-square-foot Pearsons Hall came to nearly $40,000.

In keeping with Berea's tradition, and in agreement with Dr. Pearsons' grant stipulation, the building's construction relied on student labor. Constructed from bricks made by students, the completed residence hall housed about 150 male students and provided an apartment for a professor or head resident.

Pearsons Hall was modestly remodeled in 1934 and again in 1973, when it was converted to a women’s residence.

Key Features
• Fully handicap accessible including handicap accessible rooms on every floor, an entry ramp at the front entrance and an elevator.
• Attractive glass enclosed stairwell on the side of the building
• Matching color scheme throughout the building including new matching furniture and carpet in the formal lounge
• All new lounge and bedroom furniture. New bedroom furniture includes new beds, mattresses, desks, desk lights, book shelf and dressers. Beds can be raised, lowered or bunked for maximum use.
• Enhanced common area space including a study room on every floor with a large study room in the basement. Small kitchenette on every floor with eat-in area and ice machines. Small formal sitting area on each floor. Formal lounge on main floor and multi-purpose basement with an eat-in kitchen, pool table area and recreational lounge with a big screen TV. and VCR. Cable television in the basement.
• Laundry room on every floor.
• Common bath/shower room on every floor with an opposite sex guest bathroom on every floor.
• Storage space and custodial closet on every floor.
• 2 Staff members per wing (2 wings per floor on the larger floors) and 1 staff person per floor on the floors with one wing. Total of 8 staff members for the building.
• Live-in Collegium Member on 1st floor.
• Centrally located staff office enclosed in glass with increased visibility for staff and enhanced interaction with residents.
• Interesting architecture on 4th floor with the addition of a sky light.
• New/upgraded fire alarm and sprinkler system.
• Bamboo floors in common areas (more sustainable since bamboo grows much more quickly than trees do).
• Internet connection and phone connection in every room and every common area throughout the hall.
• Original porch was kept intact and refinished.
• All appliances energy efficient…basement refrigerator, washers, dryers and microwaves. Automatic sinks and lights save on energy and water usage. Energy efficient toilets use less water and more air pressure to flush.
• Movie collection, games, kitchen supplies and tool kits for residents to check out free of charge.
• 56-59 double rooms in the hall (basement-4th floor inhabited with residents) including staff and Admissions Host rooms.
• Approximately 115 students residing in the facility.
• First-year women’s hall.
• Central heating and air.

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