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Belmont Hall remains vacant while its future is determined

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Photo courtesy of csupueblo.edu.
Photo courtesy of csupueblo.edu.

The future of Belmont Residence Hall is unclear due to a decrease in the enrollment of on-campus students and various other factors. The hall was closed to residents at the beginning of the fall 2015 semester.

The building, situated in the northernmost part of campus near the Occhiato University Center, is CSU-Pueblo’s oldest residence hall. It is comprised of two wings, each with four floors. The hall has been advertised in previous years as a cost effective housing option, and is often favored by students looking to save money.

But not enough students registered to live in the hall for the 2015-2016 school year.

Monica Gallegos, a first-year residence life coordinator, said that only about 40 students signed up to live in Belmont last semester, which was not nearly enough to fill even one wing of the building. Instead, those students moved to rooms in Greenhorn, Crestone and Culebra Halls.

The uncertainty about the hall has caused multiple rumors to spread, including that the building might be torn down.

Gallegos explained that Belmont is not up to par with the newer dorms in that it is lacking technologically, especially since the other residence halls on-campus contain features such as flat screen televisions and computers. The brick walls also prevent Wi-Fi from entering students’ rooms.

However, Gallegos does not believe that Belmont hall should be shut down permanently.

She said the hall offers a “great opportunity for community.” It is described as a traditional style residence hall with two-person rooms and a community bathroom on each floor. It also includes a full-sized gym, making it well suited for numerous social activities.

There are also students who wish for the hall to remain open, despite the many problems.

Tiffani Werth, a junior at CSU-Pueblo, lived in Belmont for one year. She described her experience as a positive one.

“I really liked it,” she said.

She agreed that the hall includes an open environment that is not present in the newer residence halls. The doors in the building stay open without needing a door stop, forcing residents to be more social. It is for this reason that Werth felt that the hall should remain open, but only if the university is willing to take strides to renovate it.

Werth also said the building contains a historic element, since several alumni have memories of living in the facility.

Gallegos explained that Belmont will only open if there are enough students to fill the space. This will require the university to create a more attractive on-campus learning environment for prospective students.

Additionally, Gallegos noted that the university will soon enforce a new policy that requires students to live in the residence halls for two years instead of one. This process will prevent sophomores from moving off-campus, and produce a demand for more housing.

In the meantime, Belmont’s windows will remain darkened.